Mattis: US Prefers Diplomatic Approach

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has insisted that diplomatic efforts to contain the threat posed by North Korea are working, and remain the favored means for solving the crisis. But when asked how he would gauge the threat from North Korea, the Secretary said it is "a threat to world peace and global order" and that the human toll from such an attack would be "catastrophic".

Earlier, President Donald Trump said North Korea should be "very, very nervous" if it acted against the US.

He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in North Korea, ' Trump told reporters in New Jersey, without offering specifics.

Mattis made the remarks to reporters at an event in California on Thursday, adding that the US prefers a diplomatic approach to the North Korean threat.

On Thursday, U.S. and Japanese troops began an 18-day live fire exercise on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which was to include rocket artillery drills and involve 3,500 troops.

And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made clear he is open to negotiations if Pyongyang freezes its nuclear and missile programs.

"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.

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Mattis referred to that two-track policy on Wednesday. But he says that, until that happens, the U.S.

"The prime minister says he discussed the threat with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence overnight. The whole of the Security Council has come together behind that, and I think that we should see the President's public comments as one of the strands, one of the many strands of USA activity". We obviously reiterate or welcome that commitment to peaceful diplomatic and political solution to the situation.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the North Korean regime should cease any consideration of actions that would "lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

HORSLEY: It's possible Trump's warnings about military action are intended not only for North Korea but also China, the country with the most economic leverage to influence Pyongyang's behavior.

But it also said that if the US and South Korea took a first strike against North Korea, China should intervene.

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers, a move that if carried out would be its most provocative missile launch to date.

Other reports by GizPress

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