Telling the press that his “fire and fury” comments about North Korea weren’t “tough enough,” 71-year-old President Donald Trump tamped down the press feeding frenzy since warning North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un of dire consequences threatening the U.S. or its allies. Since Trump’s comments, the mainstream press continues its political agenda, rapping Trump for fueling the crisis. Trump fell prey to the 24/7 anti-Trump media, now blaming the president for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong-un has promised to reduce the United State to “ashes,” once he perfects the latest version of his Hwasong-14 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile to miniaturize a nuclear warhead. Recent reports by the Defense Intelligence Agency indicate that Kim has already completed the process, leaving the U.S. and its allies vulnerable to a nuclear strike.

Answering questions at his Bedminster National golf resort in New Jersey, Trump told the press the U.S. was prepared for any contingency with North Korea. When his Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis warned North Korea yesterday, the press remained dumfounded. Mattis said Kim “should cease any consideration of action that will lead to the end of the regime and the destruction of its people,” a step beyond anything said by Trump about “fire and fury.” All the press criticism aimed at Trump stopped the second Mattis used even harsher rhetoric. Before Mattis’s comments, the press was pushing the narrative that Trump was the aggressor in the North Korean standoff. Now that Mattis has spoken, the press has backed off Trump. When a reporter today asked Trump if his remarks were a “dare” to Kim, the president said Kim could no longer threaten Guam, home to over 7,000 U.S. airmen.

Asking Trump if his comments were a “dare,” shows how the press continues to discredit anything Trump. If it were any other president, the reporter would be seeking clarification about possible U.S. actions. “It’s not a dare. It’s a statement. It has nothing to do with dare,” said Trump. “He’s not going to go around threatening Guam and he’s not going to threaten the United States and he’s not going to threaten, Japan and he’s not going to threaten South Korea,” Trump responded. Mattis made clear yesterday that the Pentagon has plans in place to deal with any contingency. “We always maintain a high state of readiness and have the capabilities to counter any threat,” said Mattis, telegraphing to Pyongyang that they’re playing with fire. Mattis—in the strongest terms possible—reinforced Trump’s comments about “fire and fury,” putting them into hard, cold military facts.

Trump reassured the public that the U.S. is in the driver’s seat on North Korea. “The people of this country should be very comfortable,” said Trump. “And I will tell you this: If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about an attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous,” referring to the Pentagon’s contingency plans. Unlike new U.N. economic sanctions on North Korea, talking about possible military action is the most effective diplomacy against the regime that’s thumbed its nose at past U.N. resolutions or negotiations. Instead of the media praising Trump for strong leadership, they slam him for inflaming the situation, revealing their political agenda. When it comes to U.S. national security, the media should park the politics at the door. Trump’s doing everything possible to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

Speaking at Manila, Philippines ASEAN conference Aug 5, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that the U.S. seeks no hostilities with North Korea. But emphasized there can be no discussions or contacts with the rogue regime until they agree to give up their nuclear and ballistic missile program. North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Ho-yong, speaking for the DPRK [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea], said North Korea’s nuke and ballistic missile programs are non-negotiable. “What we’re doing is a diplomatically-led effort that is succeed in drawing the international community together and speaking with one voice. You just saw it. That’s where we’re at,” said Mattis, explaining the North Korea strategy before the military option is used as a last resort. With Kim perfecting his warhead capacity, the clock is running out on a diplomatic option unless Kim backs down.

Increasing the chances of military action, North Korea has shown zero interest in giving up its nuke and ICBM programs. Trump has drawn his red line clearly that he won’t let the Stalinist regime get a nuclear-packed ICBM. However inferior the North Korean guidance systems or, for that matter, reentry problems with its ICBMs, Trump can no longer practice “strategic patience” like former presidents Clinton, Bush-43 and Obama. Whether or not Kim refrains from threatening the U.S. or its allies with nuclear war, Trump still has the dilemma of preventing Kim from getting an operational nuke-tipped ICBM. Instead of slamming Trump, the media needs to stop its political agenda and report objectively on current steps to protect U.S. national security. Mattis let the media know that the Pentagon is dead serious about preventing Kim from getting his nuke-ready ICBM.