President Donald Trump, who has been accused of escalating tensions with Kim Jong un’s North Korean regime with his aggressive rhetoric in recent weeks, eased back on his threats of annihilation on Tuesday, after North Korean diplomats accused him of declaring war over social media.

The President explained that, while the United States possesses the ability to counter the North Korean threat with direct military action that would be “devastating” for Pyongyang, he still doesn’t consider it to be the “first option.”

We are totally prepared for the second option, not a preferred option,” the president said in a press briefing at the White House. “But if we take that option, it will be devastating, I can tell you that, devastating for North Korea. That’s called the military option. If we have to take it, we will.”

The President refrained from referring to the North Korean Supreme Leader as “Rocket Man” throughout the briefing, as he has repeatedly on social media and in public statements.