Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Mattis: US Prefers Diplomatic Approach

Trump aide says Tillerson's role is diplomatic not military Global markets jolted by Trump's fiery warning to North Korea
Melinda Barton | 12 August, 2017, 16:07

Mattis made the remarks to reporters at an event in California on Thursday, adding that the USA prefers a diplomatic approach to the North Korean threat.

Maloney noted that Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that diplomatic efforts to contain the North Korea are working, and should remain the favored means of resolving the crisis. "It does not need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic".

Though not a direct response to the "fire and fury" statement, North Korea's army announced hours after that it was preparing a plan for missile strike on the US territory of Guam should Washington carry out military action against the DPRK.

Mattis' comments come on the heels of North Korea's state media announcement Thursday that its military would devise a plan by mid-August to fire four intermediate range missiles at the USA territory of Guam as a "crucial warning to the U.S".

North Korea said on Wednesday it was considering a missile attack on the USA island of Guam, which hosts several United States military bases.

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.

North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last month for the first time, and USA intelligence agencies assess that Pyongyang is capable of producing a compact nuclear warhead and putting it atop a long-range missile.

And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made clear he is open to negotiations if Pyongyang freezes its nuclear and missile programs.

"The rhetoric is up to the president", Mattis said.