'Trump was using language North Korea can understand'

Secretary of State says that there is no imminent threat from North Korea.

Elad Benari,

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday sought to assure the American people that there is not "any imminent threat" from North Korea.

"Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days," Tillerson said, according to The Hill.

His comments came a day after President Donald Trump said he would respond with "fire and fury" if North Korea does not cease its threats against the U.S.

Trump’s remarks followed reports that North Korea has produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which could strike parts of the U.S.

Tillerson downplayed Trump’s warning, which many interpreted as a threat to wage nuclear war, explaining that the President was simply trying to send a message.

“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 said.

“I think the President just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S.'s unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies,” he added.

Following Trump’s comments, North Korea responded by threatening to attack the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles.

Tillerson stressed on Wednesday that the administration is hopeful that diplomacy and pressure from China and Russia can convince North Korea to "reconsider the current pathway they’re on and think about engaging in a dialogue about a different future."