James Mattis: Military solution in place to address North Korea threat

North Korea has taken a major step forward in realizing its goal of becoming a nuclear power according to a Washington Post report on a confidential US intelligence assessment that concludes Pyongyang has developed a nuclear warhead capable of fitting

Despite the bombastic rhetoric exchanged between North Korean and American leaders this week, the Trump administration has been quietly engaged in back-channel diplomacy with North Korea for several months, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The announcement Thursday warned that the North is preparing a plan to fire four of its Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around the tiny island, which hosts 7,000 US military personnel on two main bases and has a population of 160,000. "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.

The Pentagon chief on Wednesday issued a carefully worded statement telling North Korea it would be "grossly" outmatched in any conflict with the U.S., and warning Pyongyang to stop considering any action that risked "the destruction of its people".

Mattis did not comment directly on the President's remarks.

Turnbull says: "The United States knows as we know and as Donald Trump reaffirmed. that America stands by its allies including Australia of course and we stand with the United States".

In a diplomatic win for the USA, the measures were approved unanimously - including by Russian Federation and China, the North's sole major ally, according to AFP.

Earlier this week, Gen. Kim Rak-Gyom, who heads North Korea's rocket command, said in a statement carried by state media that Pyongyang was "about to take" military action near the USA territory of Guam.

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"But the last person in the world you want to give a missile with a nuclear weapon on top is Kim Jong Un, given the way he's treated his own people, and what he's said about us".

It's the latest warning since he said earlier this week that North Korea faces "retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before.

He would lash out militarily, at a minimum against South Korea", Admiral Stavridis said to NBC.

North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers. He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in North Korea, ' Trump told reporters in New Jersey, without offering specifics.

Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution specializing in Asia-Pacific security issues, says the USA day-to-day military capabilities in the western Pacific are "very imposing, very impressive".

"North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation".

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