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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, center right, walks with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min Koo, center left, to meet Korean War veterans at the National Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

WATCH LIVE: State Department responds to North Korea developments


Updated August 09, 2017 12:53 PM EDT
WATCH LIVE: State Department responds to North Korea developments

The State Department on Wednesday responded to the latest developments regarding North Korea and its nuclear weapons capabilities.

Following in the footsteps of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump's Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has released a statement on North Korea, saying that the regime should stop considering moves "that will lead to the end of the regime and the destruction of its people."

It continued, "Kim Jong Un should take head of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability. The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons."

WATCH: The State Department holds its daily press briefing following North Korea's threat to strike Guam.

The State Department holds its daily press briefing following North Korea's threat to strike Guam.
The State Department holds its daily press briefing following North Korea's threat to strike Guam.

Updated August 09, 2017 08:11 AM EDT

One day after two leaders, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, exchanged intense rhetoric on the use of nuclear arsenal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said current U.S. strategy is working, pointing to sweeping sanctions recently passed by the United Nations Security Council.

"The pressure is starting to show," he said, adding that's why North Korea's rhetoric has become increasingly hostile.

Tillerson said it's not too late for North Korea to escape isolation at the international level, saying that the regime has a way out in the form of negotiations under the right conditions.

He also applauded the 45th-commander-in-chief's vow to wreak "fire and fury" if North Korea continues to threaten the United States because Kim Jong-un "doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

President Trump on Tuesday said that North Korea "will be met with fire and fury" it continues threatening the U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un previously threatened to send "packs of wolves" to "strangle" America and other countries after the United Nations (UN) imposed new sanctions on the country last weekend.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States" said Trump. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

"He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and, as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and power the likes of which this world has never seen before."


Trump's comments followed a Washington Post report which revealed that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has determined that North Korea has achieved miniaturization, the process in which a nuclear warhead is made small enough to fit on a ballistic missile.

The intelligence community "assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery by ICBM- [intercontinental ballistic missile] class missiles," said part of the report, according to the Post.

Experts previously believed that the Kim regime was still far from achieving miniaturization.

North Korea's technological leap drastically increases the threat posed by the country, considering it already has a formidable missile arsenal.

David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNN that one of North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles tested in late July may have the capability to hit America's West Coast.

The missile flew for 45 minutes, traveling 2,300 miles high and 621 miles long. Should it be fired on a flatter trajectory, it could easily threaten cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A separate intelligence committee report claimed that Kim likely has around 60 nuclear weapons in his arsenal, according to the Post.

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