Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said Thursday that the USA and South Korean militaries are prepared to "immediately and sternly punish" any kind of provocation by North Korea, but didn't elaborate on how the allies are preparing. "It doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic".
Deviating from the tone of President Trump, who said the USA would unleash "fire and fury" upon North Korea, Mattis stressed that the route forward would be diplomatic, and he repeated the importance of the unanimous 15-1 United Nations Security Council vote to impose economic sanctions on North Korea.
"We want to use diplomacy".
Meanwhile, various media outlets have reported that North Korea now has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead for placement on an intercontinental ballistic missile and the regime has threatened to "envelope Guam with fire".
The North Korean statement also says the military action its army "is about to take" will be effective for restraining America's "frantic moves" in and near the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.
China tells US and North Korea to cool it
And while Mattis warned on Wednesday that North Korea would be "grossly overmatched" by the US and its allies if a military conflict were to break out, some senior administration officials have provided a counterpoint to the President's more inflammatory rhetoric.
"It's [North Korea's] aligning the United Nations in very serious sanctions, and I would just tell you that it did not happen by accident", Mattis said.
Tillerson's more moderate line, however, was seemingly dismissed by Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka in an interview with BBC on Thursday.
After days of fiery rhetoric from both the United States and North Korea, Mr Mattis said war would be "catastrophic" and that diplomacy was gaining results.
We're buying three more players - Guardiola
The Seagulls have won just one of their last five opening fixtures to a league season (D1 L3). We are going to see at the end of the season what happens, knowing how hard it is".
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