Cheney backs Trump's aggressive stance on North Korea

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The United States is speaking with "one voice" on North Korea, the State Department said Wednesday, after President Donald Trump's promises one day earlier of "fire and fury" in response to Pyongyang's nuclear provocations.

North Korea hit back hours later, saying it is ready to carry out an attack near the US island of Guam. The spread of fallout, and the threat of a spiral of attacks that could bring about a "nuclear winter", all but guarantee that Americans would share in the suffering and loss of a nuclear exchange on the Korean peninsula or anywhere in the Pacific.

The comments come as Trump and North Korea traded escalating threats. He added, "Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours".

A day earlier, he vowed to meet North Korea's threats to strike the US with "fire and fury".

The president issued the declaration as his most senior diplomat Rex Tillerson sought to play down antagonism between the two countries, insisting there was no imminent threat of military action.

A day after evoking the use of overwhelming US military might, Trump touted America's atomic supremacy. Cheney also emphasized the importance of making China understand that if it does not enforce sanctions against the North, the USA may use force against North Korea.

Defense Secretary James Mattis also put out a statement Wednesday urging North Korea to "stop isolating itself and stand down in pursuit of nuclear weapons". As seldom as it is for a president to speak of using nuclear missiles, the reference to the "destruction" of a foreign people is equally rare. Trump had no meetings on his schedule today.

Tillerson spoke to reporters as he flew from Malaysia to Washington, stopping in Guam to refuel.

Barrasso echoed that concern in his statement, saying that Americans should be concerned about a world in which North Korea is able to strike the continental US with nuclear weapons.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said "reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe".

On Jan. 27, Trump made an executive order to create the Nuclear Posture Review, which will analyze the U.S.' nuclear capabilities. As president, Trump has shown a distinct capacity for ignoring experts. Trump on Tuesday threatened "fire and fury" if North Korea made more threats to the U.S. And North Korea's military said it was examining plans for attacking Guam.

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