Republican senator says Trump ready for war to 'destroy' North Korea

US will bolster its military presence in South Korea with the deployment of 16 additional F-16 fighter jets and 200 troops

US will bolster its military presence in South Korea with the deployment of 16 additional F-16 fighter jets and 200 troops

Graham said Trump would not let the Kim regime master the technology for a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States, urging China to step up in its role in reining in its recalcitrant ally's unbridled military testing.

Even if North Korea has successfully constructed an ICBM that can fly into low earth orbit en route to hitting targets like the continental United States, American and South Korean experts have expressed doubts that the missile will be an effective weapon by the time it completes the journey. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula.

"We certainly don't blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea", he said.

Tillerson said any dialogue with Kim would be on the condition that 'there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region, much less the (U.S.) homeland'. That 10-hour mission, the Air Force said, was indeed an answer to North Korea's ICBM tests. "In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the worldwide community is unwilling to seriously challenge him".

Later, he repeated that if pressuring the North Korean regime peacefully fails, "our other options obviously are not particularly attractive".

Tillerson's tone was also markedly different to Trump's on China's role with regard to North Korea, and its failure to pressure North Korea into curbing its weapons programme.

Shortly after the ICBM liftoff, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairmen of South Korea and the USA had a phone call and discussed "military response options", the militaries said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has extended an olive branch to the North Korean regime saying "we are not your enemy" and raising the prospect of dialogue.

Identifying North Korea as one of the first threats encountered by the Trump administration, Tillerson said the threat has materialised in the ways they expected it would.

In a Tuesday White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said only this: "All options are on the table".

He said the USA hopes North Korea will return to the table for further negotiations but only if they accept as a precondition that "there is no future" for their nuclear weapons program or their efforts to develop missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads "to anyone in the region, much less to the homeland".

"In short, a reasonable conclusion based on the video evidence is that the Hwasong-14's re-entry vehicle did not survive during its second test", said Elleman, writing on 38 North.

Graham said Trump would not allow "this madman to have a missile to hit America". "We're not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond".

And while Beijing has cut substantial economic ties in recent months with its neighbor, China believes the only way to solve the North Korean crisis is through diplomacy.

"So that's really the objective", he said.

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