McCain did the US no favor by immediately expressing skepticism that Trump was actually prepared to fulfill his threat.
I should say the likelihood right now that Kim will fire missiles at Guam is better than even money.
And the chance Trump will heavily retaliate if he does - though not with nukes - is even higher.
North Korea details Guam strike plan and calls Trump 'bereft of reason'
North Korea has defied threats of “fire and fury” from Donald Trump, deriding his warning as a “load of nonsense” and announcing a detailed plan to launch missiles aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.
A statement attributed to General Kim Rak Gyom, the head of the country’s strategic forces, declared: “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him”.
The general outlined a plan to carry out a demonstration launch of four intermediate-range missiles that would fly over Japan and then land in the sea around Guam, “enveloping” the island.
“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People’s Army] will cross the sky above Shimani, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan,” the statement said.
“They will fly for 3,356.7 km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40km away from Guam.”
The statement said the plan for this show of force would be ready by the middle of this month and then await orders from the commander-in-chief, Kim Jong-un.
The authors of an article at Vox contemplate the possible use of air defense missiles if NK actually fires missiles at Guam.
Pyongyang is calling Trump’s bluff, and the stakes are getting higher.
But they seem to completely disbelieve Trump's threat, and such public incredulity could encourage a serious error by NK.
Too many people are forgetting Trump's endless, joyful mockery of O's failure to carry out his dire Syrian "red line in the sand" threat, and his own gleeful drop of the hammer when the Syrians used gas a few months ago.
Update, 08102017, 1515 hrs EDT.
However much you and I are prepared to dis and mock Trump, it is very important the North Koreans get the message.
Particularly bearing in mind that Trump did not actually threaten use of nukes.
That reading of his remarks was made immediately by his critics, but it is by no means necessitated by his actual words.
Trump escalates 'fire and fury' threat to NKorea
President Donald Trump says that perhaps his 'fire and fury' warning to North Korea "wasn't tough enough."
Trump is issuing a new warning over the North's development of nuclear weapons.
Trump says North Korea "better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble."
. . . .
North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation.
Some people are comparing this situation with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It is worth recalling that, when the US blockaded Cuba, Castro, hopping mad, demanded Khrushchev launch the missiles at the US.
The nukes on Cuba were not Castro's to fire, they were Khrushchev's.
Khrushchev refused, and the only reason we were not nuked by Cuba is because Cuba did not have and control its own nukes.
And right now the issue is whether Kim, considerably nuttier than Castro ever was, will have his own nukes.
Too many people are taking this crisis as just another chance to beat up Trump.
It's a very serious crisis about a very real threat posed by NK to our country.