After a top Pentagon official said the only way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons program would be through a ground invasion, a senior Senate Democrat urged the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to “stay the course” and achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis, in spite of President Donald Trump’s unpredictable behaviour and threats of military action.

“The worst alternative is a war which could become nuclear,” Dianne Feinstein said on Sunday.

Trump himself threw a characteristic wildcard into the mix, saying he would “certainly be open” to meeting the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

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