Trump aide says Tillerson's role is diplomatic, not military

Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson

The statement is a direct response to bipartisan criticism of the ultimatum Trump issued to North Korea on Tuesday. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen".

North Korea responded by claiming it is preparing a plan to fire missiles at the United States territory of Guam in the western Pacific.

Traveling in Asia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a day earlier sought to tamp down tensions, suggesting to reporters that despite the rhetoric, "Americans should sleep well at night" and that "I do not believe that there is any imminent threat".

Humphrey said the escalating crisis with North Korea compels Congress to act.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert responded to Gorka's comments during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, telling reporters that Tillerson's statements should, in fact, be heeded.

Gorka told BBC radio that it was "nonsensical" for the Washington's top diplomat to speak on military issues.

Speaking in New Jersey at his golf course, Trump declined to rule out a preemptive strike on North Korea, saying he wouldn't discuss potential military options.

"What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un can understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language", Tillerson said. "Sooner or later someone should take them seriously", Gorka said, according to a part of the interview reported by Buzzfeed.

USA intelligence reports claiming that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear bomb to fit on top of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States have prompted Trump to threaten massive retaliation if Pyongyang attacks.

Rubio's defense of the President's comments is at odds with the opinions of some of his colleagues in the Senate - including Republicans - who criticized Trump for the harsh rhetoric. What do you think about these latest comments from Gorka?

"He's a Cabinet secretary", Nauert said, noting she had not yet heard or read Gorka's remarks herself.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed diplomacy and said there was no immediate threat of danger، while Defense Secretary James Mattis، a former military general، said North Korea risked "the end of its regime and the destruction of its people" if it did not "stand down".

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