North Korea: US diplomacy is gaining results, says Mattis

WATCH LIVE: State Department expected to address North Korean threats in news briefing

Matthew Rycroft told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY that the USA and UK have been very clear in demanding a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

Asked whether Mr Trump's escalating rhetoric was hurting prospects for reviving negotiations, Mr Rycroft said: "What's hurting the six-party talks is the inability so far of the North Korean regime to do what it has to do which is to halt its nuclear programme and to halt its intercontinental ballistic missile programme".

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.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is issuing his own sharp threat to North Korea, saying the regime should cease any consideration of actions that would "lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

Speaking to journalists at his New Jersey golf club, the President said that he didn't think his comments had been "tough enough".

"My responsibility is to have military options if needed", Mattis told a group of reporters in Mountain View, California, where he was visiting a new Department of Defense arm created to speed the integration of new technologies into the USA military.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Wednesday that Americans had "nothing to fear" from Trump's remarks, and that they had instead been an attempt to use language that Kim Jong Un "would understand".

Trump has said he would not allow Pyongyang to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

'His view and the view of the administration is that the way to resolve the situation with North Korea ... is through these economic sanctions.

Mattis said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should "take heed" of the U.N. Security Council's statement that Pyongyang poses a global security threat.

The Northern Viper drills are one of the scheduled exercises that Japan's Self Defence Forces conducts regularly with their USA counterparts and are not a response to the latest tensions. On Thursday, Mattis went on to say the Trump administration is "prioritizing the threat" but also looking at "how to deal with it in a diplomatically effective manner". Moon is likely to highlight his policy on North Korea on the holiday, the only one the two Koreas share.

Mattis said the tragedy of war is well-known and "it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic".

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