Mattis: North Korea diplomacy working despite Trump threats

"So here's what I would assume, that if I fire one shot at North Korea, they're going to unleash all of their weapons against South Korea and Japan and our forces", he explained.

Aggression in diplomacy - telling the Koreans that the USA is "locked and loaded", and will bring "fire and fury" - are counterproductive and senseless. But unnamed sources told the AP that the talks have done little to quell concerns about North Korea's escalation of its missile and nuclear program, though the sources also suggested that negotiation could still be possible, if Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un publicly choose negotiations instead of threats.

Trump said Friday that he planned to call Chinese President Xi Jinping that evening. "We should also make clear that, if the USA and South Korea carry out military attacks to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political landscape on the Korean Peninsula, China will be determined to take actions to prevent them from doing so". At a minimum, Pyongyang would renew its long-standing demands for an end to joint U.S. It's unclear what effect they may have on the back-channel contacts being maintained by Yun.

"I was really struck when I visited there in November 2014, you know, but the level of paranoia and the siege mentality that prevails in North Korea was overwhelming", Clapper explained.

Earlier this week, Kim Jong Un said that Pyongyang is considering an attack on Guam, which hosts multiple United States military bases after Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury".

"China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US territories and triggers USA retaliations, China will stay neutral". Striking a defiant tone on Thursday evening, he told reporters: "Maybe it wasn't tough enough".

North Korea carried out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. "I think there is still time for other measures, sanctions, diplomacy and all those kind of things", Clapper said in the interview.

Neither the White House nor the State Department commented on Yun's communication channel, and a diplomat at North Korea's United Nations mission confirmed to the AP only that the channel had been used to negotiate Warmbier's release.

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