White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is stressing diplomacy in dealing with North Korea, saying the threat of the North's nuclear weapons program is manageable for now.
Kelly's remarks came Thursday during a press briefing, where he also said Washington cannot allow Pyongyang to have the ability to reach the U.S. homeland.
[Sound bite: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly]
"The American people should be concerned about a state that has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear re-entry vehicle. I would believe, I think I speak for the administration, that that state simply cannot have the ability to reach the homeland. And for that matter -- well, the homeland. Right now, there's great concern about a lot of Americans that live in Guam. Right now, we think the threat is manageable but over time if it grows beyond where it is today -- well, let's hope diplomacy works."
The call for diplomacy follows strong rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump in recent days. Trump has hinted at possible military action against the North with such remarks as “the calm before the storm” and “only one thing will work.”
Kelly also dismissed speculation that he might resign soon due to conflicts with Trump, saying that he had just talked to the president and did not think he would be fired.