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No Easy Military Options in North Korea
13 August 2017, 03:04 | Opal Carroll
Mattis on Trump's 'fire and fury' remark: 'The rhetoric is up to the President. This is my rhetoric'
The State Department is holding a briefing a day after it was revealed North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads for use in ballistic missiles, leading to an exchange of threats between the USA and the Kim Jong Un regime. And I want to stay right there right now.
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 United States effort is now focused on diplomacy.
He warned that the tragedy of war is well known and a military conflict could be 'catastrophic'.
Trump has been escalating tensions between North Korea, warning that if leader Kim Jong Un does not stop the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons, he will face "fire and fury like the world has never seen".
Speaking to journalists at his New Jersey golf club, the President said that he didn't think his comments had been "tough enough".
North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.
The South Korean government has maintained that it is open to dialogue with the North, and that a diplomatic solution to the DPRK issue could be achieved. "However, right now, Secretary Tillerson, Ambassador Haley, you can see the American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results".
And Mattis said earlier in a statement, "While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now posses the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive...capabilities on Earth", Mattis said in a statement.
"My portfolio, my mission, my responsibility is to have military options if you need it", Mattis responded.
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