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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the US government is not seeking a regime change in North Korea.

“We’re not your enemy,” he said, adding that the US wanted a dialogue at some point.

However, a Republican senator said President Donald Trump had told him there would be a war with North Korea if its missile program continued.

North Korea claimed its latest missile could hit the US west coast.

The second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 28, celebrated by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was the latest to be conducted in defiance of a UN ban.

Referring to the border between the Koreas, Rex Tillerson said: “We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek the collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel.

“We’re not your enemy, we’re not your threat but you’re presenting an unacceptable threat to us and we have to respond.”

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US Bans Traveling to North Korea

Donald Trump Warns North Korea of “Pretty Severe” Response Following ICBM Test

Donald Trump Criticizes China Following North Korea’s Test of Long-Range Missile

President Trump has repeatedly criticized China, which shares a land border with North Korea and is its closest economic ally, for not doing enough to stop Pyongyang’s weapons program.

However, Rex Tillerson took a more diplomatic approach, saying that “only the North Koreans are to blame for this situation”.

“But, we do believe China has a special and unique relationship, because of this significant economic activity, to influence the North Korean regime in ways that no one else can,” he added.

In a separate development, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that President Trump told him that there would be a military conflict between the two countries if Pyongyang continued with its aim to develop a missile program with the US in its range.

“There will be a war with North Korea over their missile program if they continue to try to hit America with an ICBM,” Lindsey Graham said.

“He [President Trump] has told me that, I believe him, and if I were China I would believe him too, and do something about it,” he said in an interview with NBC’s Today show.

Lindsey Graham added: “If there’s going to be a war… it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And he [President Trump] has told me that to my face.”


President Donald Trump is urged by senior lawmakers to hand over any recordings of conversations with fired FBI director James Comey.

Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer warned that destroying any tapes would break the law.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the White House needed to “clear the air” about whether tapes existed.

The move comes after President Trump tweeted what appeared to be a thinly veiled threat to the former FBI chief.

Donald Trump warned James Comey last week against talking to the media, saying he had “better hope there are no tapes” of their conversations.

The White House has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of any tapes.

Charles Schumer also warned that Senate Democrats might refuse to vote on a new FBI director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

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The FBI is investigating the allegations and possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump denies any such links and says James Comey had assured him he was not being investigated. The president says he fired James Comey because he was not doing a good job.

Democrats, however, have accused President Trump of firing James Comey to try to thwart the FBI inquiry.

Charles Schumer told CNN that if any tapes existed “the president should turn them over immediately. To destroy them would be a violation of law”.

“If there are no tapes, he should apologize to both Jim Comey and the American people for misleading them,” he added.

Meanwhile, Senator Graham told NBC that Donald Trump’s tweet was “inappropriate” and called on the president to “back off and let the investigation go forward”.

“You can’t be cute about tapes,” he said.

“If there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over.”

President Trump has said he could announce a replacement for James Comey later this week.

Eleven people are reportedly being considered for the position, which requires confirmation in the Senate, and interviews began on May 13.

Those under consideration include acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, New York Appeals Court Judge Michael Garcia, Republican Senator John Cornyn and senior lawyer Alice Fisher.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham wants to launch an investigation into President Donald Trump’s business dealings for any potential links to Russia.

The Republican senator raised the issue a day after former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before a Senate panel.

James Clapper declined to answer a question about concern over any Russian ties to Donald Trump’s business interests.

Lindsey Graham said it would be “helpful” to see Donald Trump’s tax returns.

“I want to know more about Trump’s business dealings,” he told CNN on May 9.

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However, he added it was too soon to determine whether he would be willing to subpoena them from the White House.

During May 8 testimony, James Clapper was asked whether he had any concerns about President Trump’s business interests and a possible connection to Russia.

“Not in the course of the preparation of the intelligence communities assessment,” said James Clapper, who served under former President Barack Obama.

However, when Lindsey Graham pressed the former spy chief on whether he had ever discovered any Trump business ties to Moscow, James Clapper alluded to an ongoing FBI investigation.

“Senator Graham I can’t comment on that because that impacts an investigation,” he said.

President Trump took to Twitter to cast doubt on any questions surrounding James Clapper’s refusal to comment on May 8.

He wrote: “Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is <<no evidence>> of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.”

President Trump later added: “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”

Lindsey Graham has confirmed that he will run for the White House in 2016.

The South Carolina Republican senator has told CBS This Morning that he would make an official announcement on June 1st in his home town of Central.

When asked why he was considering it, Lindsey Graham said “I’m running” because “the world is falling apart” and he would make the best commander-in-chief.

Lindsey Graham becomes the seventh leading Republican to join a crowded field.Lindsey Graham White House 2016

He has been a fierce critic of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East.

Lindsey Graham wants US ground troops to be sent into Iraq and Syria to combat ISIS, to prevent terror attacks in the US.

When asked by CBS whether he thought the Republican field was weak, Lindsey Graham revealed his intention to run himself.

“I’m running because of what you see on television, I’m running because I think the world is falling apart, I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy,” he said.

Lindsey Graham added: “It’s not the fault of others, or their lack of this or that that makes me want to run, it’s my ability in my own mind to be a good commander-in-chief and to make Washington work.”