Despite its saber rattling of late, North Korea poses “a very, very insignificant threat in terms of scale,” according to White House national-security aide Sebastian Gorka, particularly vis-à-vis a United States that, in Gorka’s estimation, is no longer a mere superpower:

‘We were a superpower. We are now a hyperpower.’

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president

Nobody, he said during an appearance on the Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends,” and “especially North Korea,” comes close to matching the U.S.’s military might. On Twitter, President Donald Trump appeared to claim credit for vouchsafing that status via the signing of an executive order:

The Trump administration’s budget blueprint, released in May, called for an increase of $1.4 billion in funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Bloomberg noted in December that a Trump post on Twitter about the need to modernize the nuclear arsenal effectively reiterated President Barack Obama’s call in his 2016 budget for a trillion-dollar overhaul of U.S. nuclear capacities.

Trump Today: President Trump boasts, without evidence, of improved U.S. nuclear arsenal

What Pyongyang is doing is not presuming to directly challenge Washington militarily so much as to extort the West, Gorka told the Fox News program. The regime of Kim Jong Un will not succeed in that effort and needs to “de-escalate right now.” Gorka called for Americans — from lawmakers critical of Trump’s “fire and fury” rhetoric on North Korea to perpetrators of leaks from inside the administration — to “come together.”

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