"If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat ... or if he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else that is an American territory or an America ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast," Trump said while on his 17-day working vacation in New Jersey.
In an interview on CNN that aired Friday, Panetta told Wolf Blitzer the rhetoric is "simply fueling this situation."
"There is a mistake by someone in North Korea or someone in South Korea or someone elsewhere that suddenly has us into a war on the Korean Peninsula," said Panetta, who served in former President Barack Obama's administration. "I really do think that what is required now is a lessening of this rhetoric and allow our actions to speak for the United States, not our words."
In addition to serving as secretary of defense, Panetta also was the CIA director and a former White House chief of staff.
"We need a president to