(DoD Photo/U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr) Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday issued a warning to North Korea that the country should “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people.”
“The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack. 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 [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] poses a threat to global security and stability. The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people,” Mattis said, the U.S. Department of Defense reported.
“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. 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 DPRK regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates,” Mattis said.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said Tuesday. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
“He [Kim Jong Un] has been very threatening – beyond a normal statement – and as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Trump added.
Tensions between the United States and North Korea are growing to an all-time high.
The United Nations Security Council over the weekend voted unanimously to sanction North Korea where it hurts – on its exports. The sanctions would cut North Korea’s export revenue by $1 billion, or about a third. The sanctions ban North Korea from exporting coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, and were passed unanimously with a 15-0 vote by the U.N. Security Council; this included support from North Korean allies China and Russia.
North Korea responded to the sanctions on Monday, with its state-run media agency saying the country vowed to attack the United States over the export sanctions.
The sanctions were in response to Kim Jong Un’s two successful intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July.
Kim Jong Un has said his weapons are ready to attack “any place, any time.“
The ICMB tests are “meant to send a grave warning to the U.S.,” and Kim Jong Un “proudly” said that the tests confirm “all the U.S. Mainland is within our striking range,” according to the KCNA.
North Korea has also said it will never stop testing its weapons or deter its efforts to expand its missile program.
North Korea had its first successful test of an ICBM early in July.
On the eve of July Fourth, North Korea successfully tested its first Hwasong-14 missile, and Kim Jong Un reportedly said there are more “gifts” for the “American bastards.”
Its most recent test was July 28. That ICBM test landed in the Sea of Japan, but experts say it could have reached as far as New York City, based on how long it flew and distance travelled.
Sen. Lindsey Graham recently said that President Donald Trump says there will be war with North Korea over missiles, especially if North Korea continues to threaten to aim ICBMs at the U.S.
While North Korea continues to test missiles and expand its missile program, officials say the United States is ready to respond with greater force.