President Donald Trump said Thursday he would not draw a red line when it came to responding to North Korea's aggressive behavior, but he said there were "pretty severe things" being considered by his administration.
After North Korea's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile this week, a reporter asked Trump in Poland whether the rogue country was beyond redemption and if Trump was willing to take military action against it.
"I don't like to talk about what I have planned, but I have some pretty severe things that we're thinking about," he said. "That doesn't mean we're going to do them."
Trump has previously declined to rule out using military force in response to North Korean belligerence.
Former President Barack Obama, Trump said, drew a "red line" in Syria, a reference to his 2012 remark that the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad would change his calculus with regard to the conflict there. When Assad used chemical weapons a year later on his own people, Obama ultimately balked at using military force in response.
"I don't draw red lines," Trump said. "President Obama drew a red line, and I was the one that made it look a little bit better than it was, but that could have been done a lot sooner, and you wouldn't have had the same situation that you have right now in Syria. That was a big mistake."
North Korea is behaving in a "very dangerous manner," he added, and something would have to be done.
Trump launched a military strike in April against Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack by Assad. His administration also publicly threatened the Assad regime last month when it said another chemical attack was imminent.
North Korea's ICBM test prompted U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to call for an escalated diplomatic and economic response on Wednesday.
Trump ripped China Wednesday for failing to do more to lean on North Korea for its alarming nuclear activities.