Donald Trump was sending a strong message to North Korea in a language "that Kim Jong-Un would understand", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today as he defended the president's "fire and fury" warning to Pyongyang over its nuclear threat.
"North Korea's rhetoric has just ratcheted up louder and louder and more threatening. So I think what the President is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language," Tillerson told reporters.
Responding to a question on Trump's remarks that North Korea's threats against the US, if they continue, will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen before, Tillerson said it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part.
However, Tillerson said there is no imminent threat.
"The North Korean missile capability can point in many directions, so Guam is not the only place that would be under threat. No, I never considered re-routing the trip back, and I do not believe that there is any imminent threat, in my own view," he said when asked if he would re-route his trip from Guam, which has been threatened by the North Koreans.
He told Americans to sleep well at night and have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days.
"I think that the President, again, as commander-in- chief, I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to North Korea," Tillerson said.
"What the President was just reaffirming is the US has the capability to fully defend itself with any attack, will defend our allies, and we will do so.So the American people should sleep well at night," he said in response to a query.
Tillerson said the current US strategy is working well and there is no need for a new one.
"We have now garnered widespread international support, obviously, not just with the UN Security Council resolution, but globally, countries are speaking out and expressing the same view as to what North Korea should do, which is not be a threat to the stability of the region," he said.
Pressure on North Korea is starting to show, he said.
"Why the rhetoric coming out of Pyongyang is beginning to become louder and more threatening.Whether we've got them backed into a corner or not is difficult to say, but diplomatically, you never like to have someone in a corner without a way for them to get out," he said.
Tillerson said there has been no change in the situation.
"Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours," he said.