Gen. Jim Mattis is taking North Korea’s threats extremely seriously.
The defense secretary said Saturday that the rogue regime’s nuclear threat is “accelerating” but, he said, the United States would thwart any attack, CNN reported.
“North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs,” Mattis said in Seoul, South Korea with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo. He added that the alliance between the United States and South Korean military has taken on “a new urgency.”
“I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power,” Mattis said.
He said that diplomacy remains the preferred option to deal with North Korea but, “make no mistake — any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming.”
Mattis’ comments come days after North Korea insisted that the world ought to take its threat to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific “literally.”
North Korean official Ri Yong Pil told CNN that his nation “has always brought its words into action,” and that the threat of detonating a hydrogen bomb should not be dismissed.
Ri said there were no diplomatic channels between the United States and North Korea despite Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments stating that they remained open.
“The US is talking about a military option and even practicing military moves. They’re pressuring us on all fronts with sanctions. If you think this will lead to diplomacy, you’re deeply mistaken,” Ri said.
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