James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, likened the volley of bombastic words between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the lead up to World War I.
“It’s somewhat reminiscent to me of the history of World War I and how the world kind of blundered into that,” Clapper told Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight” on Thursday.
“I hope people learn from history here and don’t repeat that,” the CNN contributor added. “I don’t think we are there yet. I think there is still time for other measures. Sanctions and diplomacy and all those kind of things.”
Later in the program, CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto argued Americans ought to take heed of Clapper’s warnings as he has served the country in the intelligence community and military under presidents from both parties for more than 40 years.
“He said just a few moments ago about how this reminds him of the march toward war in World War I,” Sciutto said. “[J]ames Clapper is not someone who tends towards bombastic comments. He has genuine concern about the direction of events in North Korea.”
Trump reiterated his bellicose warning to North Korea from earlier in the week on Thursday, telling reporters at his golf club in New Jersey that his threat to bring “fire and fury” if North Korea continued to threaten the United States may not have gone far enough.
“Maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” Trump said during a lengthy exchange with reporters.
Trump said that past administrations had not done enough to take on North Korea and that it is time a President “stuck up for the country.”
On Thursday, North Korean state media detailed a plan to launch four intermediate-range missiles toward the territory, suggesting that it would splash the Hwasong-12 missiles into the sea less than 25 miles Guam’s coast.