U.S. warns North Korea to avoid destruction of its people

WATCH LIVE: State Department expected to address North Korean threats in news briefing

Mattis on Trump's 'fire and fury' remark: 'The rhetoric is up to the President. This is my rhetoric'

We are united in calling on the North Korean regime to halt its nuclear program.

President Trump's "locked and loaded" remark on Friday - part of his ongoing exchange with the North Korean regime - might have set the world more on edge.

"My mission, my responsibility is to have military options if you need it", Mattis said.

"The American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results and I want to stay right there right now", Mattis said at an event in California.

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Mattis's comments came shortly after President Donald Trump warned North Korea it should be "very, very nervous" if it thinks of attacking America, and doubled down on a vow to rain "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it continued to threaten the US.

Mattis says any action by North Korea would be grossly overmatched by the US, and that Pyongyang would lose any arms race or conflict it started.

When Trump was asked Thursday about his statement on North Korea, he said, according to a White House pool report: "Maybe it wasn't tough enough".

"The tragedy of war is well enough known".

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"We're trying to convey to the North Koreans we are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond", he said last week. "The Secretary General welcomes all initiatives that will help deescalate tensions and welcomes a return to diplomacy". The move was condemned by United States, South Korea and Japan.

And he points to another sign that the U.S.is not moving toward war with North Korea: There have been no efforts to evacuate the at least 150,000 USA citizens living in South Korea.

"China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US territories and triggers USA retaliations, China will stay neutral". In dealing with North Korea, Acting Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton and Ambassador Joseph Yun have been stellar in helping us develop these policies and carry them out,"Washington examiner quoted Tillerson as saying".

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