Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Trump's NK threats

Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Trump's NK threats

Sixty-four Democratic lawmakers in the US Congress are seeking help from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to tone down President Donald Trump's threats of military action against North Korea, according to a copy of a letter released on Thursday.

Q: But are you telling me though, Mr. Gorka, that if there is an action by North Korea that is felt by the United States to be threatening, then that is war?

Gorka then used an anecdote involving a Holocaust survivor to suggest North Korea's threats against the United States was somehow similar to that posed against Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War.

"The president spoke to him, to Kim Jong-un, in a that language Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson has said, and said this morning, is the kind of language Kim Jong-un will understand", Nauert said.

'Let's see what he does with Guam.

And despite the rhetorical fire and fury unleashed by the president Tuesday, more level-headed officials like Tillerson are indicating that the US policy on North Korea hasn't changed.

Nor would Mattis comment on recent reports that North Korea has a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

The German government has expressed concern over what is described as the "rhetorical escalation" between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program. "But at the same time, our defenses are robust" and ready to take on any threat posed by the North Korean regime, Mr. Mattis said.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner said the administration needed to lean on China, North Korea's closest ally, using sanctions. That's the preferred way to deal with it, ' Turnbull said in a radio interview.

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Australia's prime minister says his country would come to the aid of the United States if North Korea attacks Guam.

Tillerson on Wednesday explained the rhetoric as a way to speak to Kim in words he understands.

'The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is highly complicated and sensitive.

GORKA: Absolutely, absolutely. No, I never said that, I said for reporters to force our chief diplomat, the wonderful Rex Tillerson to give details of military options is nonsensical.

On Thursday, U.S. and Japanese troops began an 18-day live fire exercise on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which was to include rocket artillery drills and involve 3,500 troops. Annual U.S. -South Korea military exercises begin August 21 but are conducted primarily with forces already in place.

Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong and his US counterpart H.R. McMaster spoke on the phone for 40 minutes early on Friday, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul said.

The US wouldn't proceed, Haley said, because Pyongyang "is already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they violate with impunity" - an apparent dismissal of United Nations efforts to restrain North Korea.

Trump's "fire and fury" remarks prompted warnings from US officials and analysts not to engage in rhetorical games with Pyongyang.