US Journalist Bob Woodward claims he spoke to US President Donald Trump following the latter’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in 2018. The meeting was the first time ever a US president had stepped into North Korea – a state notorious for its secrecy.
The president later told Mr Woodward tensions between the two countries had become high enough that the North was “totally prepared” to go to war with the US.
He added Kim Jong-un “expected” the conflict to happen, but said the meeting between the two leaders improved relations.
However, the North was not alone in preparation for a potential conflict.
Mr Woodward claims the US had reviewed a plan which could have involved “the use of 80 nuclear weapons” if the North did attack.
Mr Trump told the author and journalist the US had come “much closer than anyone would know” to war with North Korea.
The details have been revealed in the US journalist’s new book ‘Rage’, which provides insight into Mr Trump’s presidency.
Tensions between the two countries simmered after the North test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017 which potentially had the range to strike US territory.
In response, Mr Woodward reveals the US sent a warning missile towards the North in retaliation.
The North launched another ICBM later that month and another one the following month.
Meetings between Mr Kim and Mr Trump followed the tensions with the aim of North Korea denuclearisation.
The two leaders met three times, with the last meeting ending unsuccessfully.
The North confirmed it had test-fired yet another type of ballistic missile in 2019 which could have carried a nuclear weapon.
It has been hoped the two leaders could start talks again, though Mr Trump faces re-election in November.
In other news, Donald Trump has recently claimed he read ‘Rage’ – the book in which Mr Woodward made the revelations above – in just one sitting.
The president was critical of the 391-page book, and described it as “very boring”.
US journalist and ‘Rage’ author Bob Woodward rose to prominence after he broke the Watergate scandal along with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein.
The scandal has been described as one of the greatest political upsets in US history and led to the resignation of US president Richard Nixon.