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Tillerson in Guam, urges calm on North Korea's threats

kim jung un


by Joseph Earnest August 10, 2017


Newscast Media WASHINGTONSecretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged calm after North Korea and President Donald Trump traded threats, saying Americans should have "no concerns."

Tillerson, speaking to reporters shortly before arriving on the U.S. Pacific island of Guam on August 9, said he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat" after North Korea had said that it is "carefully examining" plans to launch a missile strike on the island.

"Americans should sleep well at night," Tillerson said.

The North Korean threat to attack Guam came hours after Trump warned Pyongyang that it would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it threatened the United States again.

Tillerson said Trump was trying to send a strong message to North Korea. He said Pyongyang's rhetoric had ratcheted up in the face of international opposition to its nuclear program.

"So I think...what the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language," Tillerson said.  

Meanwhile, Trump followed up his earlier warning by saying that he hopes the United States will not have to use its nuclear arsenal.

"My first order as president was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before," Trump wrote on Twitter on August 9.

"Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!" he tweeted.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued his own threat to North Korea on August 9, saying it "should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

"The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates," he also said in a statement.

The rhetoric between the White House and Pyongyang has heated up dramatically after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, taking a significant step toward its goal of developing a long-range missile capable of striking anywhere in the mainland United States.

In a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency on August 9, a spokesman for North Korea's army said that a strike by a medium- to long-range strategic ballistic missile could be launched toward Guam at any moment once leader Kim makes a decision.

The spokesman said the strike would aim to "contain the U.S. major military bases on Guam." Guam is a critical outpost for the United States to launch military missions in the Asia-Pacific region.  Add Comments>>


Source: Radio Free Europe














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