Military Action Against North Korea Should Not Be an Option - US Congresswoman

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 13, 2017

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.

After days of fiery rhetoric from both the USA and North Korea, Mr Mattis said war would be "catastrophic" and that diplomacy was gaining results.

Mattis issued a statement as he traveled to the West Coast.

The Secretary of Defense's comments come as President Donald Trump has doubled down on comments made on Tuesday, in which he said that North Korea would face "fire and fury" if Kim Jong Un continued making threats against the United States.

Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister of U.S. ally Australia, said he had discussed North Korea and recent United Nations sanctions imposed on Pyongyang with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in a telephone call on Thursday.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Wednesday that Americans had "nothing to fear" from Trump's remarks, and that they had instead been an attempt to use language that Kim Jong Un "would understand".

China has urged the United States and North Korea on Friday to be "cautious" with their words and actions after the two sides stepped up their bellicose rhetoric over Pyongyang's weapons programme.

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It is the second time this week that a key member of the US administration has tried to calm the waters after bellicose comments from the president.

"On the situation on the Korean peninsula obviously the Secretary General remains extremely concerned by the ongoing situation; he's troubled by the increase in confrontational rhetoric that we've seen", a spokesman for Guterres said.

On Thursday, U.S. and Japanese troops began an 18-day live fire exercise on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which was to include rocket artillery drills and involve 3,500 troops. Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump.

Furthermore, it should "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", he said.

Pyongyang on Thursday announced it was finalising a plan to fire four missiles near the USA territory of Guam.

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".

But it also said that if the US and South Korea took a first strike against North Korea, China should intervene.

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