Pentagon Hopes for Diplomatic Solution on N. Korea, But Has Military Options

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The Pentagon chief remained largely mum on the details of that military solution, which theoretically would curb Pyongyang's efforts to develop a nuclear-capable, ballistic missile arsenal, except to say any military option would be a multilateral one involving a number of regional powers in the Pacific.

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.

Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not going to get away with his "horrific" comments and disrespecting America.

"The tragedy of war is well enough known", Mattis said, responding to a question about the human toll of a nuclear confrontation between the DPRK and the U.S.

And while Mattis warned on Wednesday that North Korea would be "grossly overmatched" by the USA and its allies if a military conflict were to break out, some senior administration officials have provided a counterpoint to the President's more inflammatory rhetoric.

"What we're trying to do here is [be] loud and clear in the diplomatic arena: It is North Korea's choice", Mattis said.

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He also pointed out that the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously last week to sanction North Korea, and label its bellicose statements a "threat to the world's community".

The Kim Jong-Un "regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates".

Matthew Rycroft told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY that the USA and UK have been very clear in demanding a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....

B-1 bomber planes have carried out a series of 11 practice runs on the Korean peninsula near the DPRK's border, in coordination with South Korean and Japanese forces since the end of May. "We want to make sure that we don't just retaliate".

"I was not elected, the American people elected the president", he said.

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