Mattis: US Prefers Diplomatic Approach

Global markets jolted by Trump's fiery warning to North Korea

Global markets jolted by Trump's fiery warning to North Korea

But when asked how he would gauge the threat from North Korea, the Secretary said it is "a threat to world peace and global order" and that the human toll from such an attack would be "catastrophic".

North Korea "should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", Mattis said in an August 9 statement.

North Korea "should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", Mattis said in a sharply worded response released Wednesday afternoon by the Pentagon.

Trump has stated that he is prepared to engage in all-out war if North Korea launches its missiles.

He spoke a day after President Trump warned that he would unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to threaten America, rhetoric that suggested the two countries are edging closer to conflict.

He told reporters that the diplomacy effort spearheaded by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley "has [gained] diplomatic traction" and "is gaining diplomatic results", according to the BBC.

Speaking to journalists at his New Jersey golf club, the President said that he didn't think his comments had been "tough enough". "I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the US has the unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: North Korea "would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates".

Mattis stressed, however, that the Trump administration is pursuing its goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula via diplomatic means.

The warning followed Trump's tweets earlier in the day that the US nuclear arsenal is "now far stronger and more powerful than ever before". "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before", Trump wrote.

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