Amid the rising tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Saturday that the nuclear threat from North Korea is accelerating due to the pariah state’s “illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs.” Mattis made his remarks during a press conference in Seoul.
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U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Saturday that the nuclear threat from North Korea is increasing. Speaking in Seoul alongside South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo, Mattis stated that South Korea and the U.S. are working closely in order to deal with the threat.
“North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs,” Mattis explained. The senior U.S. official added that his country’s security cooperation with South Korea has taken on a “new urgency.”
North Korean missile launch Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
“I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power,” he continued. “Make no mistake — any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. Air Force announced that 12 F-35 stealth fighter jets and about 300 airmen will arrive in Japan by early November amid the rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. “This long-planned deployment is designed to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region,” U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a press release.