Trump warns NKorea that United States is 'locked and loaded'

Sen. Marco Rubio: Nuclear attack on US would be 'the last day of Kim Jong Un's life'

Tillerson isn't in charge of defense strategy, he said. "Americans should sleep well at night", Tillerson said, tempering Trump's promise to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S. Tillerson emphasized that no conflict was imminent.

"Right now you can hear the screws turning on Aegis ships steaming somewhere between North Korea and Guam", said Tom Karako, director of the missile defense project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Tillerson's call for talks with North Korea is "strongly" supported by the 62 lawmakers and should be followed by an effort to minimize the preconditions, they said. "I think the problem is a lunatic in North Korea with nuclear weapons". In doing so, Gorka downplayed Tillerson's role in all of this.

"It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before...."

On Friday, Trump said a military option against North Korea is "locked and loaded", ratcheting up his war of words against the Asian nation.

"Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours", Tillerson said.

The letter comes amid widespread criticism of Trump over his response to threats made by North Korea.

"Should Tillerson be listened to?" a reporter asked.

If the missiles were actually launched at Guam - North Korean officials hope to drop them about 40 kilometers offshore - it would be the first time North Korean missiles landed so close to an American territory, and it would force the US military to decide if it would attempt to shoot them down.

"Whether we've got them backed into a corner or not is hard to say, but diplomatically you never like to have someone in a corner without a way for them to get out", he added.

They then went on to clarify that the missiles would land between 25-40 kilometers from the coast of Guam, a United States territory, and the launch would take place sometime in the middle of this month.

Gorka said that Tillerson wasn't qualified to make that comment.

The newly public report from us intelligence agencies seemed to spur Trump, but Tillerson called for full steam ahead on his policy of "peaceful pressure", after a series of meetings at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila, the Philippines.

"The pressure is starting to show", Tillerson said. "Whether we've got them backed into a corner or not is hard to say, but diplomatically, you never like to have someone in a corner without a way for them to get out". "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"

Gorka's statements come amid confusion about the administration's policy toward North Korea after a series of statements that have been dramatically different in tone and have sent starkly different messages.

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