Tillerson says no 'imminent threat' from North Korea

The Secretary of Defense's comments come as President Donald Trump has doubled down on comments made on Tuesday, in which he said that North Korea would face "fire and fury" if Kim Jong Un continued making threats against the United States. Trump tweeted on August 11.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely". His political rivals have already learned crossing Trump invites counterattack.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, waves as he walks to his vehicle after speaking at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Mountain View on Thursday. Mattis paused for a long moment Thursday before discussing the possibility of nuclear confrontation.

Speaking at an event in California on Thursday, Mattis said his mission and responsibility was to have military options ready "should they be needed" but stressed the USA effort is now focused on diplomacy. It has diplomatic traction.

Dujarric says Guterres welcomed the U.N. Security Council's adoption last Saturday of a resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea, including banning any coal, iron lead and seafood exports, and is urging all U.N. member states to implement it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also sought to promote dialogue and diplomacy over military action.

TRUMP: Hopefully it'll all work out, OK?

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 tragedy of war is well-enough known it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic", he added.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told The Chronicle in an interview that he was confident that there are experts giving Trump advice on the volatile North Korea situation, even if the president has been bellicose in his Twitter attacks on the rogue nation.

"I think that the President again - as commander in chief - I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to North Korea", Tillerson said.

HORSLEY: It's possible Trump's warnings about military action are intended not only for North Korea but also China, the country with the most economic leverage to influence Pyongyang's behavior.

Vanessa Coleman