James Mattis: Military solution in place to address North Korea threat

13 August, 2017, 17:06 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Trump Administration Sends Mixed Messages On North Korea

"And we work very closely with allies to ensure that this is not unilateral either ... and of course there's a military solution", Mr. Mattis told reporters en route to meet with senior leaders in the technology sector in Seattle and California.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is issuing his own sharp threat to North Korea, saying the regime should cease any consideration of actions that would "lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

Mattis did not comment directly on the President's remarks.

According to two U.S. military sources which spoke to NBC, U.S. intelligence has identified at least two dozen targets in the DPRK, which they say consist of missile launch sites, testing grounds, storage facilities and support equipment.

Mr Mattis issued a statement as he travelled to the West Coast.

Pyongyang has been louder in its complaints against a new and tough round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, with strong USA backing, and Washington's use of Guam as a staging ground for its stealth bombers, which could be used to attack North Korea and are a particularly sore point with the ruling regime in Pyongyang.

That impetus has only grown among administration officials amid reports this week that Pyongyang had built a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop one of the country's long-range missiles.

However, he said, he is responsible for having military options.

'His view and the view of the administration is that the way to resolve the situation with North Korea ... is through these economic sanctions.

Meanwhile, France is urging all sides "to act responsibly and to de-escalate" tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

'But of course if North Korea decides to carry out some of its violent threats, then obviously awful consequences will follow, and there's no point ducking that inevitable outcome, ' he said, promising Australian military support for the United States if it was attacked.

The DPRK recently announced that it was making plans to launch a missile into waters miles from the US occupied territory of Guam, which is where the U.S.'s B-1 bombers are stationed.

"The tragedy of war is well enough known", Mattis said, responding to a question about the human toll of a nuclear confrontation between the DPRK and the U.S.

The United States and South Korea remain technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to deliver a speech next week to mark Liberation Day, when the Korean peninsula secured freedom from the rule of Japan.

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