US President Donald Trump toughened his stance on North Korea in remarks to reporters Thursday: “They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country. So, if anything, maybe that statement [on fire and fury] wasn’t tough enough.”

Asked what could be tougher, he replied “You’ll see. You’ll see.” Trump would not say whether he is considering a preemptive strike on North Korea.  While open to negotiating with Pyongyang, he said talks over the years had done little to halt the country’s nuclear program.

“What they’ve been doing, what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy and it can’t be allowed,” Trump said. “The people of this country should be very comfortable,” he said and declared that if they attack the US or its allies, “Things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”

Trump spoke after he and Vice President Mike Pence received a security briefing from White House chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.