"Yes, there are", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon when asked whether there were military options that would not seriously endanger Seoul.
So they aim for the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Mattis said, "where at least we hope no ships are around".
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis says that diplomacy will still take the lead in efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
"Yes, I don't want to go into that", Mattis responded.
Tensions flared when Kim Jong-Un's regime tested what it termed a hydrogen bomb many times more powerful than its previous device. Such strikes would not paralyze North Korea's nuclear weapons but could send Pyongyang a serious warning and possibly cripple it enough to be unable to strike back by launching a full-blown war. The conflict, often referred to as The Forgotten War, ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty.
"If the leadership of a country contemplates the use of force, they must ask themselves: 'Using force against whom, under what conditions, and to achieve what?' " Pinkston said, adding that military options have always been in place to uphold the Korean War armistice and bilateral security alliance commitments with Seoul and Tokyo.
Still, despite heated rhetoric and posturing in the United States and North Korea, there has been no positioning of U.S. military weaponry to suggest a military conflict is imminent.
Both China and Russian Federation have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the issue.
Mr Trump is now in NY for the United Nations General Assembly but Mr Xi - who has a major Communist Party congress that will cement his leadership for the next five years - is not attending the event.
".We all know that basically if North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed".
Noting that North Korea's nuclear issue has become one of the most serious issues since the end of the Korean War in 1953, Ban asserted that the worldwide community has to take "all necessary measures when chips are down".
"We continue to press on the diplomatic level".
China has urged the United States to refrain from making threats to North Korea. The Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times said in April that China does not necessarily have to intervene in the event of a USA surgical strike on North Korean nuclear facilities. That includes economic sanctions.
"It's a pressurization effort to raise the cost" to Pyongyang of continued testing of missiles and nuclear weapons. Among those who attended were South Korean Army's chief of staff Gen. Kim Yong-woo and his USA counterpart Gen. Mark A. Milley. Because of constitutional restrictions, Japan can not shoot down missiles that fly through its airspace but do not directly target it, and has only been able to heat up rhetoric against North Korea.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor unit was deployed at the Hakodate base on southern Hokkaido "as a precaution" as part of government preparations for a possible emergency.
"The bottom line is that in the missiles, were they to be a threat, whether it be the USA territory Guam, obviously Japan, Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said.
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