In Silicon Valley, Defense Secretary Promotes Diplomatic Solution To North Korea

Secretary Mattis says US is 'ready' to counter North Korean threat

Secretary Mattis says US is 'ready' to counter North Korean threat

Speaking at an event in California on Thursday, Mattis said his mission and responsibility was to have military options ready "should they be needed" but stressed the U.S. effort is now focused on diplomacy.

Mattis did not comment directly on the President's remarks. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also sought to promote dialogue and diplomacy over military action.

China has urged the United States and North Korea on Friday to be "cautious" with their words and actions after the two sides stepped up their bellicose rhetoric over Pyongyang's weapons programme. Striking a defiant tone on Thursday evening, he told reporters: "Maybe it wasn't tough enough".

'His view and the view of the administration is that the way to resolve the situation with North through these economic sanctions.

'But of course if North Korea decides to carry out some of its violent threats, then obviously awful consequences will follow, and there's no point ducking that inevitable effect, ' he said, promising Australian military support for the United States if it was attacked. "Let's see what he does with Guam", Trump said in apparent reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

'Let's see what he does with Guam.

He made it clear that while the State Department is pursuing "diplomatic means" with Pyongyang, "North Korea will be grossly overmatched by the USA and its allies" and would lose any arms race it starts.

"My portfolio, my mission, my responsibility is to have military options should they be needed".

Mattis's comments today also echo a statement the Secretary of Defense made in May, in which he told a Pentagon press conference that war with North Korea "tragic on an unbelievable scale".

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

The Northern Viper drills are one of the scheduled exercises that Japan's Self Defence Forces conducts regularly with their USA counterparts and are not a response to the latest tensions.

It says North Korea will complete a plan by mid-August for the "historic enveloping fire at Guam", convey it to the commander in chief of its nuclear force and then "wait for his order". "The whole of the Security Council has come together behind that, and I think that we should see the President's public comments as one of the strands, one of the many strands of USA activity".

"The Security Council passed a resolution unanimously over the weekend". Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump. "The Secretary General welcomes all initiatives that will help deescalate tensions and welcomes a return to diplomacy".

If carried out, it would be the North's most provocative missile launch to date. The country warned that the U.S.

But it also said that if the US and South Korea took a first strike against North Korea, China should intervene.

Pyongyang on Thursday announced it was finalising a plan to fire four missiles near the USA territory of Guam.

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