Mattis: North Korea diplomacy working despite Trump threats

Ebony Scott
August 12, 2017

TL: Having served in the military, it's very clear to me that military force should always be the last resort and you've got to exhaust all other options. "This is a very important decision for me, I've inherited a real mess", he continued.

Former US President Barack Obama had planned to reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan to some 5,500 by the end of 2015 and withdraw all troops by the end of 2016 when his presidency came to an end.

- Trump restated his ultimatum to North Korean leadership to stop threatening the U.S. or "face fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Jim Carafano, a Heritage Foundation scholar who advised Trump's transition team on foreign policy, said the messages conveyed to North Korea were aimed at different audiences: Trump to the American people, Tillerson to the diplomatic community and Mattis to the military establishment.

MARTIN: Asked what would be tougher than fire and fury, and the president responded, you'll see. "Because things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK?"

The statement also said that the North Korean military would finalize a plan by mid-August to fire four midrange missiles into the waters off the Pacific island of Guam, a U.S. territory used as a strategic base, to create a "historic enveloping fire". But, you know, in truth, the USA has been issuing threats against North Korea for more than 15 years, both in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. "I took over a mess, and we're going to make it a lot less messy", Trump said from his golf club retreat in New Jersey.

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We believe that diplomacy and more severe economic sanctions on North Korea, along with a more cooperative China, can help to defuse this conflict.

"'Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump".

The issue came to the fore again this week when US intelligence analysts assessed that North Korea had produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, according to multiple sources, which would bring the country a significant step closer to being able to fire a nuclear-tipped warhead at the USA or its allies. So I think what we need to do is put the unification of Korea on one side and say look, let's work to preserve the security of the countries of the region without the use of nuclear weapons. While the USA has daunting nuclear power, the Pentagons program has been beset with morale, training, discipline and resource problems.

Crude was bolstered overnight by bullish API stocks and the ratcheting up of geopolitical risk with choice rhetoric between Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, KeyBank said.

I think the challenge here is that both China and the United States understand there really is not a military way to solve this problem without severe consequences. "The whole of the Security Council has come together behind that, and I think that we should see the President's public comments as one of the strands, one of the many strands of USA activity".

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