US Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a stern warning against North Korea on Wednesday to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people.”
The statement came in just after the day President Trump threatened to let loose ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea.
In a written statement, Jim Mattis said, “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons… regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.”
“Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability,” he said.
The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to diffuse the tension this morning when he told the press in Guam, “Nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours.” Mr. Tillerson added that “Americans should sleep well at night.”
His remarks echoed President Trump‘s second tweet in the morning when he downplayed any potential nuke attack against North Korea, “Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!”
But the US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sounded rather tough as he issued the written warning that reminds Pyongyang the unmatched US military strength on Wednesday, “While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed, and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”
“The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from attack,” he added.
Mr. Mattis said, “President Trump was informed of the growing threat last December and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces.”
“If the North Koreans were to strike Guam and kill a lot of Americans it would lead to a war which would destroy North Korea, so my guess is this is bluffing on both sides… But it certainly doesn’t help because it raises the possibility of miscalculation and misperception.”
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Wednesday, “The United States is on the same page, whether it’s the White House, the State Department, we’re speaking with one voice.. “We’ve talked about our pressure campaign … that’s backed by many other nations… that campaign is working, it is ratcheting up the pressure every day.”
These rhetoric from the both side sound pretty scary. But Robert Kelly, a professor of political science at Pusan National University, told Al Jazeera that these rhetoric “were almost certainly exaggerating.”
Professor Kelly said, “If the North Koreans were to strike Guam and kill a lot of Americans it would lead to a war which would destroy North Korea, so my guess is this is bluffing on both sides… But it certainly doesn’t help because it raises the possibility of miscalculation and misperception.”