After the mercurial Kim tested his nation's first nuclear device two weeks ago, many in diplomatic circles wondered if Mr. Bush would retaliate with more than strong words, but today's speech left little doubt on that score as the U.S. president said that he was "prepared to strike back with the strongest words ever."
"To Mr. Kim Jong-Il, let me say this," Mr. Bush said. "Abandon your nuclear program at once, or you will face the full fury of the United States of America's harshest rhetoric."
At the Pentagon, officials today said the President was mulling a series of options to punish North Korea, including a tactical speech lasting 10 to 15 minutes or a more devastating verbal assault that could last up to an hour.
Later in the day, White House spokesman Tony Snow said that President Bush had conducted a test of his "meanest speech ever" in front of the White House staff and that the speech had been "totally successful."
"In his speech, the President called Kim Jong-Il 'evil,' 'wicked,' 'immoral' and 'iniquitous,'" Mr. Snow said. "The message is clear: The United States has a thesaurus and we're not afraid to use it."
Elsewhere, the population of the United States just topped 300 million, thanks largely to the efforts of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
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