State Department Press Briefing on North Korea

Secretary Mattis says U.S. is 'ready&apos to counter North Korean threat

Secretary Mattis says U.S. is 'ready&apos to counter North Korean threat

President Donald Trump again stepped up the rhetoric against North Korea on Thursday, saying an earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack was not tough enough. Trump tweeted on August 11.

"No Easy Military Options in North Korea" is part of Aviation Week & Space Technology's subscription package. His political rivals have already learned crossing Trump invites counterattack. White House adviser Sebastian Gorka told the BBC this week Trump's fire-and-fury messages must be taken seriously. Mattis paused for a long moment Thursday before discussing the possibility of nuclear confrontation.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said America still hopes to solve the North Korea crisis using diplomacy. It is gaining diplomatic results.

France's Macron speaks to Trump, warns over N Korea escalation
He sounds like the leader of North Korea , not the leader of the United States. There is no military solution to the North Korea nuclear issue.

Though not a direct response to the "fire and fury" statement, North Korea's army announced hours after that it was preparing a plan for missile strike on the USA territory of Guam should Washington carry out military action against the DPRK. The statement says that "only absolute force" can work on someone as "bereft of reason" as Trump.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is preparing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 USA military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000. Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump.

HORSLEY: Tillerson, who's just back from a series of meetings with allies in Asia, says there's no disconnect between that sentiment and the president's tough talk about possible military action.

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But the tension continued Friday when North Korea said Trump was "driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war" with his continued rhetoric.

Mattis said the tragedy of war is well-known and "it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic".

REX TILLERSON: I think what the president's doing is trying to support our efforts by ensuring North Korea understands what the stakes are.

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Tension in the region has risen since the reclusive North, which staged two nuclear bomb tests a year ago and launched two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July in defiance of world powers.

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