Tillerson rejects claims of 'no military solution' to North Korea threats

Trump adviser Steve Bannon had appeared to dismiss the administration's stance on North Korea

Tillerson rejects claims of 'no military solution' to North Korea threats

Picture by: Yin Bogu/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has moved to dismiss suggestions from within the Trump administration that there's "no military solution" to tensions with North Korea.

It comes after President Trump's controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon appeared to speak out against the administration's public stance on Kim Jong-Un's recent threats and war of words with the US.

In an interview with American Prospect, Mr Bannon - the former chair of far-right website Breitbart News - argued: "There’s no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it.

"Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us."

However, Mr Tillerson moved to distance himself from such a suggestion during a press conference with US Defence Secretary James Mattis and the two men's Japanese counterparts.

When quizzed about Mr Bannon's remarks, Mr Tillerson responded: "I think we have been quite clear as to what the policy and the posture towards North Korea is.

"Obviously, any diplomatic effort in any situation where you have this level of threat that we’re confronted with – a threat of proportions that none of us like to contemplate – has to be backed by a strong military consequence if North Korea chooses wrongly. And I think that is the message that the President has wanted to send to the leadership of North Korea, and it was really in response to this ever-escalating levels of threat and rhetoric that were coming from the regime in Pyongyang."

He added: "We will continue that effort diplomatically first and foremost, but knowing that North Korea sits with a significant capability already within their grasp, I think it is only prudent that they fully understand the consequences should they make a bad choice for themselves and, obviously, there are consequences for others as well."

He again insisted that any hostilities from North Korea "will be met with an effective and overwhelming response".

The comments came after the recent tensions between North Korea and US appeared to have calmed, amid reports that Kim Jong-Un has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards the US pacific territory of Guam.

President Trump took to Twitter to describe the decision as 'very wise and well reasoned':