United States Defense Secretary, General Jim Mattis recently called North Korea a clear and present danger.
The comment was made yesterday during a speech Mattis gave at an international security conference in Singapore. The International Institute for Strategic Studies sponsored the speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, in which Mattis was critical of both North Korea and China, but also hopeful for more assistance from China.
“Coupled with reckless proclamations, the current North Korean program signals a clear intent to acquire nuclear arm ballistic missiles, including those of intercontinental range that pose direct and immediate threats to our regional allies, our partners and all the world,” Mattis said.
“President Trump has made clear that the era of strategic patience is over. As a matter of U.S. national security, the United States regards the threat from North Korea as a clear and present danger.”
In the speech, Mattis was critical of what he called Beijing’s disregard for international law with its “indisputable militarization” of artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
“We oppose countries militarizing artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by international law,” he said. “We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo.”
On Friday, China blocked new sanctions against North Korea by the United Nations (UN). The UN Security Council did vote unanimously to add 15 individuals and four entities linked to the North’s nuclear and missile programs to a U.N. sanctions blacklist.
General Mattis’ comments appeared hopeful for a peaceful resolution.
“While competition between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable,” he said. “Our two countries can and do cooperate for mutual benefit. We will pledge to work closely with China where we share common cause.”
A conflict with North Korea would be the worst king of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.
In an interview on Sunday with “Face the Nation” General Mattis commented on what a War with North Korea could look like.
“A conflict in North Korea, John, would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes. Why do I say this? The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea.
We are working with the international community to deal with this issue. This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea. And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well. But the bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.”
North Korea is a dictator-led nation that has spent decades preparing with a war with the US. North Korea has communist China to it’s north and South Korea, a democratic republic on it’s southern border.
The US military has almost 30,000 US troops stationed in South Korea permanently. North Korea has often viewed the US troops on it’s southern border as a direct threat from the US.
While the politics in the region are complex, North Korea remains the most unstable nation in that region. North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons is not only a threat to the US, but the stability of the entire region.
How do you think the US should handle the North Korean threat of nuclear capabilities? Do you believe they are a clear and present danger? Let us know in the comments, and in addition, share this on social media.
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