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U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday played down an apparent split between the U.S. president and his top diplomat over outreach to North Korea, saying America’s focus was still on finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute with Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

President Donald Trump, who has traded insults and threats with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent weeks, said on Sunday Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme.

“President Trump’s guidance to both Secretary Tillerson and me has been very clearly that we would ... pursue the diplomatic effort to include with the various initiatives with China,” Mattis told a Senate hearing.

 

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