Mattis says United States wants diplomatic solution for N. Korea

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The State Department is expected to address the latest threats from North Korea at a news briefing Thursday. Watch live in the player above.

A shootout with North Korea would be "catastrophic", as pointed out this week, by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

And while Mattis warned on Wednesday that North Korea would be "grossly overmatched" by the USA 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. The statement says that "only absolute force" can work on someone as "bereft of reason" as Trump.

"I agree we should explore all diplomatic options before taking military action", Maloney said.

It says North Korea will complete a plan by mid-August for the "historic enveloping fire at Guam", convey it to the commander in chief of its nuclear force and then "wait for his order". The country warned that the U.S. He says that while the U.S.is pursuing diplomatic solutions, the combined military power of America and its allies is the most robust on Earth.

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Mattis made the remarks to reporters at an event in California on Thursday, adding that the US prefers a diplomatic approach to the North Korean threat.

He points out the U.N. Security Council unanimously voted last week to characterize North Korea's statements as a "threat to the world's community".

North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last month for the first time, and USA intelligence agencies assess that Pyongyang is capable of producing a compact nuclear warhead and putting it atop a long-range missile. Mattis said that this show of support is heartening.

North Korea has unleashed personal attacks on past Washington and Seoul leaders.

PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

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