Mattis hints at military options on North Korea but offers no details

Laura Christensen
September 23, 2017

Daniel Pinkston, an East Asia expert at Troy University in Seoul, said Mattis' remarks were "nothing new" and provided no indication the U.S.is seriously considering a preventive war with North Korea.

His comments follow those of US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday, when she said the UN Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea's nuclear program and that the US might have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.

With the United Nations imposing a series of sanctions against North Korea, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged the global community to brace itself for all possibilities, including military options.

"Yes there are. But I will not go into details", he said.

"It is more likely that we can not have 100 percent certainty in disarming the country", he said in an email. The conflict, often referred to as The Forgotten War, ended in an armed truce, not a peace treaty. The South Korean capital's 10 million residents live just 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the border - well within North Korea's artillery range.

"It's a pressurization effort to raise the cost" to Pyongyang of continued testing of missiles and nuclear weapons. But he declined to say whether the option is under consideration.

"Developments in the peninsula nuclear issue up to this point prove that, no matter whether it is military threats in words or in action, they can not promote and advance a resolution", the foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said. The city is within striking range of North Korea.

Such tests were in violation of Security Council resolutions and showed that North Korea could now target the United States or Europe, he wrote.

Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be allowed to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile, but he has also asked China to do more to rein in its neighbour.

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"We will work with the global community to come up with a strong response toward North Korea ..." "Any attack on North Korea that doesn't fully annihilate its conventional and WMD forces exposes Seoul ―and U.S. forces and dependents, Japan, U.S. territories, and even possibly the U.S. homeland ― to potentially massive destruction".

"You see it as a primary effort of the United Nations General Assembly meetings going on this week in NY", he said.

On Tuesday, US President Trump said in an address to the UN General Assembly that the US may have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if it is forced to defend itself or its allies.

China has in the past been a key supporter of the North Korean communist regime, but that support may be dying out.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not elaborate, but his mention of "enablement" was likely a reference to China.

Mattis told reporters that he believed diplomacy and sanctions were so far succeeding in putting more pressure on Pyongyang.

"That's an example of what is working", Mattis said.

Mattis said the USA and Japan did not shoot it down because it did not pose a direct threat to either nation.

Other reports by My Hot News

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