Trump will 'do everything' to avoid nuclear war with North Korea: Mnuchin

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin gestures during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., to announce sanctions against Venezuela, August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said President Donald Trump wants to avoid nuclear war with North Korea and “will do everything we can” to avoid conflict.

“I can assure you the president’s number one priority is the safety of the American people and our allies,” Mnuchin said on ABC News. “The president doesn’t want to be in a nuclear war, and we will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t occur.”

Trump has dialed up the rhetoric against North Korea over the weekend, warning the country’s foreign minister that he and leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer,” as Pyongyang staged a major anti-U.S. rally.

Reporting by Rick Cowan and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn