Mattis warns North Korea: aggression will mean the "end"

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 13, 2017

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said war with North Korea would be "catastrophic" as tensions with the reclusive nation reach breaking point.

Foreign-policy experts caution, though, the increasingly bellicose rhetoric from both Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un runs the risk that the two countries could stumble into actual conflict.

North Korea announced that military leaders are planning to launch four intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles only 25 miles off the coast of Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea said on Wednesday it was considering a missile attack on the United States island of Guam, which hosts several USA military bases. This continues a series of toughly worded messages from the president urging North Korea's leader not to test the USA resolve.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged calm, saying he sees no "imminent threat" of attack.

It's the latest warning since he said earlier this week that North Korea faces "retaliation with fire and fury unlike any the world has seen before".

North Korea Gen. Kim Rak Gyom said Trump is "extremely getting on the nerves" of his soldiers by making comments that showed his "senility" again.

Speaking in California later Thursday, Mattis praised the diplomatic leadership of Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, as well as a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea.

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

"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others. The Secretary General welcomes all initiatives that will help deescalate tensions and welcomes a return to diplomacy".

"China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten USA territories and triggers US retaliations, China will stay neutral". And despite Trump's public bluster, the US has reportedly been carrying on quiet, back-channel negotiations with North Korea through that country's United Nations representatives.

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.

"North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation".

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