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Mattis vows to continue diplomatic efforts on N. Korea

All News 08:51 December 01, 2017

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis vowed Thursday to continue diplomatic efforts on North Korea after tensions spiked over its latest ballistic missile launch.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting with the Libyan prime minister, Mattis said he was "not willing" to acknowledge that diplomacy has failed to reverse the North's nuclear and missile ambitions.

"We will continue to work diplomatically. We will continue to work through the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council, and we will be unrelenting in that," Mattis said.

"At the same time, our diplomats will speak from a position of strength because we do have military options."

Mattis has repeatedly said the U.S. prefers a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis. But if North Korea directly threatens the U.S. or its allies, he has said it would be "game on."

On Tuesday, Pyongyang test-fired what it said was an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a "super-large heavy warhead" to the entire U.S. mainland.


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