Mattis says United States wants diplomatic solution for N. Korea

Tillerson says no 'imminent threat' from North Korea

In an interview with BBC radio, Gorka called it "nonsensical" for Tillerson to discuss military action against North Korea, saying that it was the job of Secretary of Defense James Mattis to discuss military options. "But at the same time, our defenses are robust" and ready to take on any threat posed by the North Korean regime, Mr. Mattis said.

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. "Americans should sleep well at night", Tillerson said, tempering Trump's promise to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before", Trump tweeted. If it does make threats, the president said, "they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen". Gorka is a hawk on North Korea, as well as a hardline Trump defender.

Mr Gorka, a security and counter- terrorism specialist little known in that field before his White House role, told media no one should listen to Mr Tillerson on military matters related to North Korea.

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. But if the USA military is preparing for a major conflict, there is little evidence of it.

The stakes with North Korea - nuclear-armed, led by a ruthless, untested and all-powerful young leader intent on the ability to strike the U.S. - make the mixed messages the USA is sending uniquely unsafe, analysts and former officials say.

The post WATCH LIVE: State Department expected to address latest North Korea threats in news briefing appeared first on PBS NewsHour. Trump signed an executive order in January to initiate a review of the country's nuclear policy.

Trump says something super-aggressive on Tuesday, Tillerson tries to calm things down on Wednesday, and then Gorka ratchets everything back up on Thursday.

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"There had not been any discussions about escalating the rhetoric in response to Kim's statements or about the possible effects of doing that", the official said.

State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said Wednesday that "the United States is on the same page".

"The words were his own".

Critics included fellow Republican John McCain, head of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, who said Trump should tread cautiously.

English says all countries want to avoid military confrontation and the way for that to happen is for North Korea to comply with U.N. sanctions and for worldwide pressure to push the nation in that direction.

Speaking about North Korea, he said, "I think whether we've got them backed into a corner or not is hard to say, but diplomatically, you never like to have someone in a corner without a way for them to get out".

"It's time to hold China accountable for their refusal to shut off trade with North Korea", he said.

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