Mattis says U.S. wants diplomatic solution for NK

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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.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And if he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat, which, by the way, he has been uttering for years and his family has been uttering for years - or if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "troubled" by the escalating rhetoric from all sides in the North Korea nuclear dispute.

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.

North Korea will continue to be grossly overmatched by the USA and its allies, he said, "and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates".

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

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

"Mattis says the tragedy of war is well known and "it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic".

The North Korea threat has been a foreign policy priority for the Trump administration since it took office in January, but it has taken center stage since Pyongyang test fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.

Trump has said he would not allow Pyongyang to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. The country warned that the U.S.

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

Meanwhile North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said its army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land near Guam.

"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others".

"North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation".

Mattis also noted that the U.S.is also ready for a military conflict if it comes to that.

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