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Noem backs a ‘strong message’ to North Korea

On the heels of President Donald Trump’s praise of the United States’ nuclear capabilities and his threat of “fire and fury” toward North Korea, South Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representative backed the strong rhetoric.

“It’s important we send North Korea a strong message,” Noem said in a written statement.

Trump’s comments followed a long line of nuclear threats from North Korea, and with North Korea offering its own threat that it would strike American military forces in Guam if attacked, Noem suggested U.S. officials are doing what they can to ward off greater military tension.

“While the president’s words and the successful training missions clearly indicate the U.S. is combat ready, it’s clear the administration is using a multitude of tools to counter North Korea’s rhetoric,” Noem said. “... Signing expansive sanctions legislation that I helped pass in the House, working with allies to ensure a united front, and pressuring China to do more diplomatically.”

On Tuesday, Trump said the east Asian state led by Kim Jong Un “best not make any more threats to the United States.” His statement sparked a follow-up from North Korean capital Pyongyang that threatened a missile strike on Guam.

While U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds was unavailable for comment as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, fellow South Dakota Republican U.S. Sen. John Thune offered his take on the president’s remarks. And Thune suggested the Trump administration consider all reactionary measures, even a calmer approach.

“While I believe the ‘speak softly and carry a big stick approach usually produces the most effective result, when it comes to protecting the United States, no option should be taken off of the table,” Thune said in a written statement. “As the administration continues to project strength on the world stage, I hope it reviews all of its options for what must be a calm and measured diplomatic or military response.”