Officials downplay idea that nuclear war with North Korea is imminent

Officials downplay idea that nuclear war with North Korea is imminent

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, after North Korea's Kim Jong-Un postponed a threat to fire missiles towards the USA territory of Guam, that Washington remains ready for talks.

In his first public appearance in about two weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected the command of the North's army on Monday, examining a plan to fire four missiles to land near the US Pacific territory of Guam, the official KCNA said in a report. He added the USA military is prepared to take out any missiles heading toward its territory.

Mr Trump responded by vowing to rain down "fire and fury" if challenged and the North then threatened to lob missiles near Guam, a tiny USA territory some 2,000 miles from Pyongyang.

"President Trump inherited a mess", Graham said.

A statement on the Russian foreign ministry's website said Russian and China discussed "possible ways out of the confrontational spiral on the Korean Peninsula", and that "military adventures and threats of force" against North Korea were "unacceptable".

Trump's amped up rhetoric came after it was unveiled by USA intelligence that North Korea, who's long sought to have nuclear weapons, has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could fit in a missile warhead.

The Global Times, a Communist Party tabloid, warned Friday that China wouldn't assist North Korea if it attacked USA territory and America retaliated.

The small Pacific island is a USA territory about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) south east of the Korean peninsula.

The US has accused China, which is North Korea's main economic lifeline, of not doing enough to rein in its neighbour.

President Donald Trump escalated tensions with North Korea last week threatening to unleash "fire and fury, the likes of which the world has never seen". For us, that's war.

Trump's comments, however, do not appear to be backed by significant military mobilization on either side of the Pacific, and an important, quiet diplomatic channel remains open.

Speaking Tuesday, South Korea President Moon Jae-in appeared to down play Mattis' comments, pointing out the USA would need its approval before launching any attack on North Korea.

Despite the increased tensions and the bellicose rhetoric from Trump and Kim, Pompeo said there was "nothing imminent" for people to worry about and that he had seen "no intelligence" that would indicate the two nations were on the cusp of nuclear war.

"So if they could attack, I don't think it would get very far".

"If the planned fire of our demonstration is carried out as the USA is going more reckless, it will be the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks".

He said even a test would cause concern and the U.S. would see that as a step over the line in terms of a provocation. People familiar with the contacts who spoke on condition of anonymity say discussions have addressed deteriorating relations and three Americans detained in North Korea. "That's a war-time situation".