Senate to get briefing next week on North Korea, Afghanistan

PHOTO CREDIT: CNN WIRE

(CNN) — The full Senate is expected to receive a briefing next week on North Korea and Afghanistan from top Trump administration national security officials, according to two congressional sources.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will brief the full Senate in a closed session, the sources said.

The briefing comes as Congress returns from its month-long August recess, and there have been significant developments on both foreign policy hotspots since Congress was last in Washington.

Last week, President Donald Trump rolled out his plan for the US war in Afghanistan, which includes a modest increase in troop levels and gives US forces more authority to target the Taliban and other militant groups.

Democrats criticized the President’s Afghan strategy rollout for lacking details, while Republicans largely praised him for committing to a US presence in Afghanistan and moving away from timetables for withdrawing US troops.

On the Korean Peninsula, Trump earlier this month threatened “fire and fury” against Pyongyang if it did not stop threatening the US, which did not seem to deter North Korea from testing its missiles and threatening Guam.

After North Korea’s latest missile test flew over Japan, Trump tweeted Tuesday that “talking is not the answer.”

Mattis and Tillerson, however, have continued to stress diplomacy when it comes to North Korea: “We’re never out of diplomatic solutions,” Mattis said on Tuesday.

The full Senate was bussed to the White House in April for a briefing on North Korea with Trump’s top national security aides.