Sebastian Gorka says Rex Tillerson's role is strictly diplomacy, not military

North Korea responded to the new United Nations sanctions with increased aggression, escalating last Wednesday to a threat to attack waters near the USA territory of Guam.

"If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack, of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous", Trump said.

Speaking in California later Thursday, Mattis praised the diplomatic leadership of Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, as well as a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea.

"The rhetoric is up to the president", Mattis said.

North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.

"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.

Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have both used strong language pertaining to North Korea's threats.

"The US is willing to negotiate with Pyongyang", the two secretaries wrote in a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday.

It's the latest warning since he said earlier this week that North Korea faces "retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before". We have no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang.

Turnbull says: "The United States knows as we know and as Donald Trump reaffirmed. that America stands by its allies including Australia of course and we stand with the United States".

The U.S. goal, the two men said, is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and not "regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea".

Tillerson and Mattis stressed that Washington is not seeking an excuse to garrison USA troops north of the Demilitarized Zone and has no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang. They further said, "We are replacing the failed policy of "strategic patience"... with a new policy of strategic accountability".

It also said that China and Russian Federation should enhance coordination to let other parties know they would not stand aside should their security be threatened by the escalating tensions.

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