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BREAKING: James Mattis Makes Military Announcement
Jim Mattis / CCL
As tensions heighten between the U.S. and North Korea, the tough rhetoric directed at North Korea by the Trump administration is ramping up.
Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis warned on Wednesday that Pyongyang’s persistent aggression would eventually lead to “end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” On Thursday, Mattis reiterated that position to reporters, saying, “Do I have military options? Of course, I do.”
Mattis to North Korea: “Stand down” your pursuit of nuclear weapons
In a stern warning to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Department of Defence released a statement Wednesday from the DefSec. Mattis stated that the Kim Jong Un regime must cease any moves that would ultimately lead to the end of its totalitarian regime and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
He did confirm that the State Department was continuing diplomatic efforts, but noted that the U.S. and its allies need to maintain the most “precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”
If a military solution is eventually required, Mattis noted back in May, it would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.”
Mattis said in the official statement:
The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.
The DPRK regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.
When pressed by reporters on Thursday for more details, Mattis declined to elaborate, other than saying that “any military option would be a multilateral one involving a number of regional powers in the Pacific.”
Despite the tough talk, the Defense Secretary confirmed that additional assets have yet to be moved to the region. The threat assessment remains the same.
Is this the April and August pattern all over again?
Many experts contend that this is the same old April-August pattern that has been seen over the years. In both months, the U.S. and South Korea – and sometimes Japan – conduct military exercises in the region which cause the North Korean government to panic and enter into a fit of rage.
Although both sides continually engage in apocalyptic discourse, nothing ever happens. Is this time different?
In some ways it is. This time, the DPRK has reportedly developed a nuclear warhead that can fit on its long-range ballistic missiles. Military analysts say the government is one year away from being able to launch these missiles to the western U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska.
At the present time, the U.S. has nearly 29,000 troops stationed in South Korea, while Japan hosts approximately 54,000 U.S. military personnel. It also has roughly 200,000 troops stationed in 175 other countries, so any potential threat would likely be quashed.
The alarming question still stands: will the “fire and fury” be imminent, or is this just seasonal tension?
For now, Mattis said on Thursday:
We want to use diplomacy. That’s where we’ve been, that’s where we are right now. and that’s where we hope to remain. But at the same time, our defenses are robust.
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