State Department expected to address latest North Korea threats in news briefing

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US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that the Trump administration was working with its allies on a diplomatic solution to escalating tensions with North Korea.

He made it clear that while the State Department is pursuing "diplomatic means" with Pyongyang, "North Korea will be grossly overmatched by the USA and its allies" and would lose any arms race it starts.

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

"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others".

North Korea said on Wednesday it was considering a missile attack on the United States island of Guam, which hosts several USA military bases.

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.

In a lengthy exchange with reporters at his Bedminster golf resort, he said past administrations had not done enough to take on North Korea and that it was time a president "stuck up for the country".

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South Korean and US troops are also gearing up for an annual joint drill from August 21, called the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, in which up to 30,000 USA troops will take part.

It called former President Barack Obama a monkey and ex-South Korean President Park Geun-hye a prostitute.

"On the situation on the Korean peninsula obviously the Secretary General remains extremely concerned by the ongoing situation; he's troubled by the increase in confrontational rhetoric that we've seen", a spokesman for Guterres said.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Guterres "welcomes all initiatives that will help de-escalate the tensions and a return to diplomacy". North Korea says it will "keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S".

Furthermore, it should "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", he said.

The North was responding to Trump's threat in a statement from its military carried by state-run news agency KCNA.

But it also said that if the USA and South Korea took a first strike against North Korea, China should intervene.

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