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State Department Press Briefing on North Korea
13 August 2017, 06:36 | Erica Roy
Image via Getty
US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said war with North Korea would be "catastrophic" as tensions with the reclusive nation reach breaking point. 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.
Pyongyang has been louder in its complaints against a new and tough round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, with strong USA backing, and Washington's use of Guam as a staging ground for its stealth bombers, which could be used to attack North Korea and are a particularly sore point with the ruling regime in Pyongyang.
A number of USA allies, including Australia and Japan, have said that they're prepared to stand with Trump and will take military action against North Korea if Jong Un launches an attack against Guam, according to Fox News. North Korea says it will "keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S".
He warned that the tragedy of war is well known and a military conflict could be 'catastrophic'.
China has urged the United States and North Korea on Friday to be "cautious" with their words and actions after the two sides stepped up their bellicose rhetoric over Pyongyang's weapons programme.
And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made clear he is open to negotiations if Pyongyang freezes its nuclear and missile programs.
"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others".
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to deliver a speech next week to mark Liberation Day, when the Korean peninsula secured freedom from the rule of Japan.
Trump has stated that he is prepared to engage in all-out war if North Korea launches its missiles.
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".
South Korea's military says North Korea will face a "stern and strong" response from Washington and Seoul if it acts on threats to fire missiles near Guam.
But it also said that if the USA and South Korea took a first strike against North Korea, China should intervene. "We should also make clear that, if the USA and South Korea carry out military attacks to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political landscape on the Korean Peninsula, China will be determined to take actions to prevent them from doing so".
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Yen gains broadly on latest bout of Korean tensions
Shares Snap fell 1.94, or 14%, to 11.83 after the Snapchat parent reported earnings late Thursday that missed analyst forecasts. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down almost 0.1 per cent to 5,760.90, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 per cent to 2,357.84.
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