Wednesday's HOT MIC
UPDATE FROM NEWS & POLITICS DESK IN WASHINGTON: After tour buses shuttled senators from Capitol Hill to the Eisenhower executive office building for a White House briefing on North Korea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declared in a joint statement that "with each provocation, North Korea jeopardizes stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our allies and the U.S. homeland."
The trio, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, said they briefed lawmakers on the results of a previously ordered presidential review of North Korea policy. President Trump's approach, they said, "aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners."
"We are engaging responsible members of the international community to increase pressure on the DPRK in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue. We will maintain our close coordination and cooperation with our allies, especially the Republic of Korea and Japan, as we work together to preserve stability and prosperity in the region," the Tillerson, Mattis, Coats statement added.
"The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations towards that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies."