Defense Secretary, Schwarzenegger say USA ready to respond

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US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that the Trump administration was working with its allies on a diplomatic solution to escalating tensions with North Korea.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And if he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat, which, by the way, he has been uttering for years and his family has been uttering for years - or if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told The Chronicle in an interview that he was confident that there are experts giving Trump advice on the volatile North Korea situation, even if the president has been bellicose in his Twitter attacks on the rogue nation.

Asked Thursday whether the secretary-general could be a mediator, Dujarric says, "He is always willing to do so".

Mattis did not elaborate on the diplomatic results he referenced, but the UN Security Council at the weekend passed a new set of sanctions against Pyongyang over its weapons program, including bans on the export of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood.

"I don't tell the enemy in advance what we are going to do", he said, adding that in the event of an attack, "We are ready".

He spoke a day after President Trump warned that he would unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to threaten America, rhetoric that suggested the two countries are edging closer to conflict.

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The warning followed Trump's tweets earlier in the day that the USA nuclear arsenal is "now far stronger and more powerful than ever before".

"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others".

He said the regime would be in trouble "like few nations have ever been" if they do not "get their act together". Trump met this evening with his top diplomats at his private golf resort in New Jersey.

"China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten USA territories and triggers US retaliations, China will stay neutral".

On Thursday, U.S. and Japanese troops began an 18-day live fire exercise on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which was to include rocket artillery drills and involve 3,500 troops.

Japan and South Korea vowed a strong reaction if the North were to go through with the plan.

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