Monday, 21 August, 2017

Defense Secretary, Schwarzenegger say United States ready to respond

Secretary Mattis says US is 'ready' to counter North Korean threat Defense Secretary, Schwarzenegger say United States ready to respond
Melinda Barton | 13 August, 2017, 18:39

And while Mattis warned on Wednesday that North Korea would be "grossly overmatched" by the USA and its allies if a military conflict were to break out, some senior administration officials have provided a counterpoint to the President's more inflammatory rhetoric.

Speaking with reporters in Mountain View, California, Mattis says his responsibility is to have military options but the American effort is focused on diplomacy.

North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last month for the first time, and USA intelligence agencies assess that Pyongyang is capable of producing a compact nuclear warhead and putting it atop a long-range missile.

Hours after President Donald Trump intensified his threat to rain "fire and fury" upon North Korea, Mattis said war would be "catastrophic".

Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was not going to get away with his "horrific" comments and disrespecting America.

He told reporters that the diplomacy effort spearheaded by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley "has [gained] diplomatic traction" and "is gaining diplomatic results", according to the BBC.

Mattis noted that the president was informed that North Korea was a "growing threat last December" and once he was inaugurated, his first orders to Mattis "emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces".

Mattis said the tragedy of war is well-known and "it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic".

Trump is also warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons, saying he'd like to "de-nuke the world".

A number of USA allies, including Australia and Japan, have said that they're prepared to stand with Trump and will take military action against North Korea if Jong Un launches an attack against Guam, according to Fox News.

"China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten USA territories and triggers US retaliations, China will stay neutral". But he says that, until that happens, the U.S. The country warned that the U.S. "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".

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.