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After Trump speech, Mattis says North Korea crisis still 'diplomatic effort'

After Trump speech, Mattis says North Korea crisis still 'diplomatic effort'”

"It's vague enough that I want to give [Mattis] the benefit of the doubt, but I can not conceive of a way where you would militarily engage with North Korea and not put Seoul at risk".

"We will defend ourselves, our interests [and] our allies", he said, "and we work together very transparently and openly with our allies".

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

On Sunday, however, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the UN Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea's nuclear programme and the United States might have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon. "I want to say", Mattis said.

The North has repeatedly defied the United Nations to conduct nuclear and missile tests, the latest being a mid-range missile fired over Japan on Friday, soon after the reclusive nation's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3.

South Korea and the U.S. also staged military drills in the Korean Peninsula on Monday, conducting bombing exercises involving six United States planes and four South Korean fighter jets, according to Song Young-moo, the South Korean defence minister.

Any conflict on the Korean peninsula could lead to bloodshed unseen since the 1950-53 Korean War, which took the lives of more than 50,000 Americans and millions of Koreans and ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty.

North Korea said on Saturday it aimed to reach an "equilibrium" of military force with the United States.

Such tests were in violation of Security Council resolutions and showed that North Korea could now target the United States or Europe, he wrote.

China and Russian Federation have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

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US President Donald Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be able to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile.

North Korea's weapons drive is set to dominate Trump's address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and his meetings with South Korean and Japanese leaders this week.

Abe also said diplomacy and dialogue would not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire worldwide community was essential to tackle the threats posed by the north and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The 1950-53 Korean War was one of the deadliest in modern history, killing millions of Koreans, majority civilians, and tens of thousands of United States and Chinese troops, as well as soldiers from other countries who fought under the UN banner.

Mattis told Congress in June that any such war would be "more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we have seen since 1953", resulting in the "massive shelling" of Seoul while also putting Japan in harm's way.

China has urged the United States to refrain from making threats to North Korea.

The US and Chinese leaders have committed to "maximising pressure on North Korea", the White House has said.

"It's a pressurization effort to raise the cost" to Pyongyang of continued testing of missiles and nuclear weapons.

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

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