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Despite Rhetoric On North Korea, US Military Posture Hasn't Really Changed

Despite Rhetoric On North Korea, US Military Posture Hasn't Really Changed

Asked if Tillerson would reject the assertion that he shouldn't speak on military tensions surrounding North Korea, Nauert said, "our Secretary has been very clear, as has Secretary Mattis, that our diplomatic and military means are both strong and capable and in the face of the threats that we face against the DPRK or other nations".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: North Korea "would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates". -North Korean relations and Americans imprisoned in North Korea, the source said.

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.

Sixty-four Democratic lawmakers in the US Congress are seeking help from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to tone down President Donald Trump's threats of military action against North Korea, according to a copy of a letter released on Thursday.

Speaking in California later Thursday, Mattis praised the diplomatic leadership of Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, as well as a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea.

"How often do you see France, China, Russia, the USA voting unanimously on any issue?" His visit came the day after President Trump said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" in the event of a nuclear attack.

"What they've been doing and what they've been getting away with is a tragedy and it can't be allowed", Trump said.

"You're not just threatening people because you want to threaten them, you're threatening them because you want them to take offerings", Wit said. "Put yourself in President Trump's shoes", he said.

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

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers, a move that if carried out would be its most provocative missile launch to date.

"In theory it can show the administration understands that in order to accomplish things it not only needs to adopt maximum pressure, but also have some discussion with the North Korea", Wit said.