Sebastian Gorka denies dismissing Tillerson's role on North Korea

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Ben Cardin, the Foreign affairs committee's top Democrat, compared Trump's comments to those issued by North Korea itself. The Defense Department and Energy Department spent billions of dollars on refurbishing the arsenal and bringing aging nuclear weapons up to modern capabilities as well as guidance systems and related technologies.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States.

Trump wrote in an early morning tweet: "My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal".

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meanwhile has moved to defend his president's remarks insisting he chose his words carefully.

Jim Carafano, a Heritage Foundation scholar who advised Trump's transition team on foreign policy, said the messages conveyed to North Korea were aimed at different audiences: Trump to the American people, Tillerson to the diplomatic community and Mattis to the military establishment.

Humphrey said that Donald Trump should be relieved of the powers of the Presidency as soon as possible. "The only time our posture goes up is based on facts, not because of what Kim and Trump say to each other", the official added. Three U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the United States had not moved additional assets into the region after North Korea's threats against Guam.

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, made the comments to the BBC amid reports of division within the Trump administration on how to handle North Korea. If they think you're serious, they'll negotiate and it'll never come to that. "You've got to be sure you can do what you say you're going to do", McCain said in a radio interview.

"They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years", Trump said.

Gorka said that Tillerson had "done an awesome job" to help guide new sanctions against North Korea through the United Nations Security Council, but "when reporters try to force him to make statements regarding military options, they have no idea what they're talking about, and if they think that's a story, they're not journalists". It says its ICBMs are a legitimate means of defense against perceived USA hostility, including joint military drills with South Korea.

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