US "speaking with one voice" on North Korea, State Dept insists

Washington (AFP) –


The United States is speaking out with a unified message on North Korea, the US State Department insisted Wednesday, playing down divergent comments from President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

"Whether it's the White House, the State Department, the Department of Defense, we are speaking with one voice," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

"And the world is, in fact, speaking with one voice, and we saw that as it came out of the UN Security Council with the resolution that passed less than a week ago" approving more sanctions against Pyongyang, she said.

She was speaking after Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that he faced "fire and fury" over his weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Trump, enjoying a working holiday at his New Jersey golf course, went on to boast that the US nuclear arsenal was "more powerful than ever."

As tensions on the Korean peninsula flared, Tillerson took a very different tone, insisting there was "no immediate threat" from North Korea.

Nauert said Trump's remarks fit into a "pressure campaign" to force North Korea to back off from its nuclear development and further missile tests.

"That campaign is working," she said, adding that Trump and Tillerson held an hour-long phone conversation after the president's comments.

"Let's consider what is alarming" she said. "What is alarming, two ICBM tests in less than a month, two nuclear tests that took place last year."