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Mattis 'Fully Supports' Tillerson's Diplomatic Efforts on N. Korea

News2017-10-04
Mattis 'Fully Supports' Tillerson's Diplomatic Efforts on N. Korea

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Tuesday the Pentagon fully supports a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear issue.

His remark comes amid mixed messages coming out of Washington as President Donald Trump said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to talk to the North Korean leader, after Tillerson mentioned there were multiple direct channels of communication between the two sides.

Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the Defense Department "supports fully" Secretary Tillerson's efforts to find a diplomatic solution regarding the North Korea crisis.

But he said the Pentagon remains focused on the defense of the United States and its allies.

As for the mixed messages, he said he does not see the divergence as strongly as some have interpreted it.

Mattis argued that President Trump demonstrated his intent to work diplomatically with other nations on the North Korea issue by dispatching Tillerson to Beijing last week.

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