"It's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries, so if anything, maybe that statementwasn't tough enough", he said. "But I can tell you that what they've been doing and what they've been getting away with is a tragedy".
North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers, a move that if carried out would be its most provocative missile launch to date.
President Donald Trump says that perhaps his "fire and fury" warning to North Korea "wasn't tough enough". "So if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough", Trump said. North Korea is still believed to lack expertise to ensure a missile could re-enter the Earth's atmosphere without the warhead burning up.
He said his administration never addresses such plans in public.
Tillerson and other officials said Trump was trying to send a message in language Kim Jong Un could understand.
"We would need to know that North Korea is taking serious and literal steps to denuclearizing in order for the United States to get to that point".
On Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis warned North Korea against starting a war or an arms race, urging Pyongyang to refrain from "any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".
McCain, who serves as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, feels the US military must be ready to respond at any time to North Korea's threats, but fears any action could have devastating consequences.
Mr Trump's latest warning came after meeting with national security advisers at the golf resort where he is vacationing.
Trump's implicit threat was underscored by the wide circulation online on August 9 of a television interview with NBC he gave in 1999 where he advocated preemptive strikes using conventional weapons against North Korea's missile and nuclear facilities if negotiations to rid the country of nuclear weapons did not succeed.
"North Korea's provocative actions, including this time, are obviously provocative to the region including Japan as well as to the security of the global community", Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief government spokesman, told reporters. Its main trade partner is its neighbouring country China.
"While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth", Mattis said. It's not going to continue like that.
He added: "Let's see what he does with Guam".
He said the U.S. "of course" would always consider negotiations with North Korea, but added that talks with the North have failed for the last 25 years.
"The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA (Korean People's Army) will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan", the report said, citing Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the KPA.
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