North Korea reacts to Trump comment

A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers

Speaking to reporters in Mountain View, California, Mattis said that US efforts on North Korea were now focused on diplomacy, while stressing that his "mission" was to make sure Washington "is to have military options should they be needed".

Locked and loaded - that's how President Trump described the USA military solutions for dealing with North Korea.

Though not a direct response to the "fire and fury" statement, North Korea's army announced hours after that it was preparing a plan for missile strike on the USA territory of Guam should Washington carry out military action against the DPRK.

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

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Australia's prime minister says his country would come to the aid of the United States if North Korea attacks Guam.

"The tragedy of war is well enough known", Mattis said, responding to a question about the human toll of a nuclear confrontation between the DPRK and the U.S.

The State Department is holding a briefing a day after it was revealed North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads for use in ballistic missiles, leading to an exchange of threats between the USA and the Kim Jong Un regime.

North Korea Gen. Kim Rak Gyom said Trump is "extremely getting on the nerves" of his soldiers by making comments that showed his "senility" again. "The Secretary General welcomes all initiatives that will help deescalate tensions and welcomes a return to diplomacy".

McMaster: US no closer to war with N. Korea in past week
There had been no back-channel talks during the last seven months of President Obama's term when Pyongyang broke them off over a new round of USA sanctions.

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

The issue came to the fore again this week when US intelligence analysts assessed that North Korea had produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, according to multiple sources, which would bring the country a significant step closer to being able to fire a nuclear-tipped warhead at the USA or its allies.

The Northern Viper drills are one of the scheduled exercises that Japan's Self Defence Forces conducts regularly with their US counterparts and are not a response to the latest tensions.

Tensions have escalated rapidly in recent weeks after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.

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Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

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