Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Trump's NK threats

Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Trump's NK threats

Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Trump's NK threats

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, waves as he walks to his vehicle after speaking at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Mountain View on Thursday.

In a process dubbed the "New York channel", Joseph Yun, the USA envoy for North Korea policy and the only American to meet with North Koreans, passes messages back and forth between the two nuclear-armed nations.

Despite President Trump tweeting this morning US military is "locked and loaded" to deal with North Korea, the reality might be very different.

The State Department spokeswoman said she wouldn't comment directly on Gorka's remarks, but noted that Tillerson and Mattis have a close working relationship.

"My mission, my responsibility is to have military options if you need it", Mattis said.

More than 60 Democratic lawmakers urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday to rein in President Donald Trump's aggressive rhetoric against North Korea, saying the risks of military conflict are too high.

In a diplomatic win for the U.S., the measures were approved unanimously - including by Russian Federation and China, the North's sole major ally, according to AFP. "The whole of the Security Council has come together behind that, and I think that we should see the President's public comments as one of the strands, one of the many strands of USA activity".

Tillerson's call for talks with North Korea is "strongly" supported by the 62 lawmakers and should be followed by an effort to minimize the preconditions, they said. 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.

Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution specializing in Asia-Pacific security issues, says the USA day-to-day military capabilities in the western Pacific are "very imposing, very impressive".

North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.

"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.

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