US president continues to escalate threats at North Korea over Twitter during ‘working vacation’ but no troops have been put on higher alert or redeployed

Donald Trump kept up his brinksmanship on North Korea with a morning tweet that US military options were “locked and loaded” for use if Pyongyang “acted unwisely”.

There was no change in US deployments in the region or a change in the alert status of US forces. Speaking to reporters earlier, the defence secretary, James Mattis, said a conflict on the Korean peninsula would be “catastrophic” and stressed that US diplomats should take the lead in resolving the crisis. Mattis pointed to a UN security council vote on the weekend for more sanctions on North Korea as a sign that diplomacy was making progress.

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