Defense Officials Take More Measured Tone in North Korea Brief

Senate and House lawmakers spoke with top Trump administration officials Wednesday on North Korea days after it carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, The Hill reports.

Legislators emerged from briefings with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats saying the briefers used a more measured tone than President Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” if North Korea continues its threats.

According to The Hill, for some Democrats that difference was concerning. “What they said makes a lot of sense, but it is directly contradictory to everything the president says,” Senator Chris Murphy argued.

“They’re laying out a relatively sensible strategy that is not consistent with what the president says the strategy is.They’re talking about a diplomacy-first strategy that has been clearly rejected by their boss, and it leaves the entire world scratching their head,” Murphy continued.

According to Murphy, “there is an unbelievable disconnect between the people in that room and their boss.”

North Korea on Sunday carried out its first nuclear test since Trump took office, claiming it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb capable of being mounted onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.

On Sunday, Mattis warned of a “massive military response” if North Korea threatens the United States or its allies, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is ““begging for war.”

Meanwhile, Trump tweeted about cutting off all trade with countries that do business with North Korea and has tweeted that “talking is not the answer” when it comes to North Korea. He also tweeted he would allow allies South Korea and Japan to purchase more sophisticated military equipment.

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