Nauert said that the US-led worldwide pressure campaign on North Korea is working very well and yielding results, which was reflected in the unanimous sanctions passed by the United Nations Security Council on Pyongyang.
And Trump's words, while they did not mention a specific type of attack or a nuclear bomb, did appear eerily similar to the phrasing used by former President Harry Truman after he announced to the country and the world that the USA had dropped an atomic bomb on Japan's Hiroshima army base in August 1945.
The Trump administration considers North Korea to be America's greatest national security threat and tensions have steadily escalated this year.
"And in fact, early generations of Iranian missiles were thought to be basically modestly adapted North Korean missiles".
Perhaps the closest President Obama ever came to President Trump's language was in 2014, when he said to USA troops stationed in Seoul, South Korea, "We will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life".
The Post story, citing unnamed USA intelligence officials, went further.
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Spicer responded Congress would be notified, but said the President would "utilize the powers under Article II of the Constitution", which covers the Executive Branch.
"Prohibited ballistic missile-related items are suspected to have been transferred between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran on regular scheduled flights of [North Korean flag carrier] Air Koryo and Iran Air, with trans-shipment through a neighboring third country", the report said.
"Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation", the statement from North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency read in reference to the Security Council's vote.
The calculation of North Korea's nuclear arsenal at 60 bombs exceeds other assessments, which range from around one dozen to about 30 weapons.
"What is alarming; two ICBM tests in less than a month", Nauert said. Both missiles were fired at highly lofted angles and landed at sea near Japan, but analysts said the weapons could reach Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at a normal, flattened trajectory. And it's still working on striking targets with accuracy.