Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'

Gen. James Mattis

"The American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results and I want to stay right there right now", he added.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that his responsibility is to have military options should they be needed.

Earlier, President Donald Trump said North Korea should be "very, very nervous" if it acted against the US.

The UN Security Council on August 5 voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

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On Tuesday, Trump warned North Korea not to make any more threats against the United States.

Mattis' comments come on the heels of North Korea's state media announcement Thursday that its military would devise a plan by mid-August to fire four intermediate range missiles at the US territory of Guam as a "crucial warning to the U.S".

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Trump warned Tuesday that he would unleash " fire and fury " against North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States . Gordon Humphrey said he wants Trump stripped of his executive powers under the 25th Amendment .

The Kim Jong-Un "regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates".

The White House has distanced itself from the president's threats, and Mattis maintains that diplomatic efforts are the best way to combat this crisis.

A separate statement by the Korean People's Army (KPA) also threatened to turn Seoul into "a sea of fire", comments condemned yesterday as "thoughtless" by South Korean military officials.

Military action should not be an option when confronting the problem of escalating tensions with North Korea, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said in a statement.

"We're ready", he said, but refused to elaborate on the USA military strategy as he doesn't want to "tell the enemy in advance what I'm going to do".

Mattis said the North Korean leader "should take heed of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability".

"How often do you see France, China, Russia, the U.S. voting unanimously on any issue?"

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