Washington: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis do not exclude the prospect of US military action as a response to North Korea's nuclear threat, rejecting the statement of former White House adviser Steve Bannon that such an option can not be considered.
"We are ready to react with our allies as necessary," Tillerson said, but added: "This is not our preferred option."
According to Bloomberg, at a joint meeting on August 17 between US and Japanese senior officials on foreign policy and defense, representatives of the US presidential administration, Donald Trump, also announced their determination to defend Japan in the event of military action with North Korea.
A key component of the Trump Administration's approach, supported by Japan, was to put pressure on China, North Korea's neighbor and its largest economic partner, to strengthen sanctions against Kim Jong-un's regime in an attempt to force him to abandon nuclear-armed missiles.
The administration's position was confused by Bennon's remarks, in which he said that China "simply expels" the US, and that the country should focus instead on the "economic war" with China. In an interview, Bennon said he admits a deal in which the US could withdraw troops from South Korea in exchange for freezing the nuclear program in North Korea.
Steve Bennon resigned from the post of senior adviser Donald Trump on August 18. Trump thanked Bennon for his work and accepted his resignation.