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Mattis hints at military options on North Korea but offers no details


Pressed on whether the military options included so-called kinetic options that use lethal force, Mattis said: "I don't want to go into that".

"Things are much different between now and when the United States pulled out nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula" in 1991, said Song. He declined to elaborate what those options may be.

"We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the threat from North Korea", Mannin said.

"We must be willing to do more than to listen to our allies", the USA defense secretary said.

Mattis said that the USA has military options available to counter North Korea that wouldn't necessarily create a grave risk of retaliation against Seoul.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated in a September 12 press briefing that while "China can do more" when it comes to North Korea, its shift in stance to back the resolutions of the UN Security Council is "significant". The city is within striking range of North Korea.

Still, despite heated rhetoric and posturing in the United States and North Korea, there has been no positioning of U.S. military weaponry to suggest a military conflict is imminent.

Haley had said the U.N. Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and that Washington may have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon. China in turn favours an global response to the problem.


"Those missiles are not directly threatening any of us", the secretary said.

"It was a long call, it was a very good call", Trump said during remarks at a dinner for Latin American leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in NY.

Mattis told reporters that he believed diplomacy and sanctions were so far succeeding in putting more pressure on Pyongyang.

"We are putting the leader in North Korea in a position to be aware of - [with] the global community voting unanimously twice now in the United Nations Security Council - ... the increasing diplomatic isolation that comes with the economic sanctions", Mattis said.

Although any conflict on the Korean Peninsula would risk a wider conflagration, some officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump have taken a harder line on the issue.

A group of South Korean lawmakers from the opposition Liberty Party Korea said in a statement Sunday that the US government was cool to the idea during a visit to Washington to meet State Department officials, members of Congress and scholars.

"So, yes, it's working", he said. "The bottom line is that, when the missiles - were they to be a threat, whether it be to USA territory, Guam, obviously Japan - Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said.

Washington has also asked China to do more to rein in its neighbour and ally, while Beijing has urged the United States to refrain from making threats against the North.

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