Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Administration Sends Mixed Messages On North Korea

Trump Administration Sends Mixed Messages On North Korea

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has insisted that diplomatic efforts to contain the threat posed by North Korea are working, and remain the favored means for solving the crisis.

Foreign-policy experts caution, though, the increasingly bellicose rhetoric from both Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un runs the risk that the two countries could stumble into actual conflict.

Speaking with reporters in Mountain View, California, Mattis says his responsibility is to have military options but the American effort is focused on diplomacy.

He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in North Korea, ' Trump told reporters in New Jersey, without offering specifics.

Mattis's comments came shortly after President Donald Trump warned North Korea it should be "very, very nervous" if it thinks of attacking America, and doubled down on a vow to rain "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it continued to threaten the US. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also sought to promote dialogue and diplomacy over military action.

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

It's the latest warning since he said earlier this week that North Korea faces "retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before".

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

"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others".

North Korea has unleashed personal attacks on past Washington and Seoul leaders.

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United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Guterres "welcomes all initiatives that will help de-escalate the tensions and a return to diplomacy".

"China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten USA territories and triggers US retaliations, China will stay neutral".

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.

Mattis noted that the president was informed that North Korea was a "growing threat last December" and once he was inaugurated, his first orders to Mattis "emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces".

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The White House statement importantly notes that Trump has not yet ruled out a military solution to North Korea's nuclear threat. North Korea responded by saying it was considering a plan to attack Guam and dismissed Trump's warnings as a "load of nonsense".


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