Defense secretary warns North Korea it's 'grossly overmatched' by US
Defense secretary warns North Korea it's 'grossly overmatched' by US
Defense secretary issues warning to North Korea
11 August, 2017, 01:27
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has responded to North Korea's threat of targeting the US Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, saying Pyongyang's move would lead to "the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".
The war words comes as North Korea is believed to have developed the capability to miniaturise nuclear warheads for use on ICBMs.
"I know we woke up to media reports of North Korea's talk of revenge on the United States and this so-called new-found technology that allows them to target Guam", Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said.
Mattis has consistently said that he prefers to resolve issues over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs through diplomacy - noting military action could yield catastrophic consequences.
The secretary called on North Korea to "stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons".
Pentagon chief Mattis says Pyongyang's actions could lead to "the end of its regime and the destruction of its people". Trump ordered the Pentagon to emphasize ballistic missile defense and nuclear weapons that pose a deterrent to other countries using them.
"The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack", Mattis said, despite Kim's boast of having nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them against the USA mainland with Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
In another show of USA strength, two B-1B Lancer bombers operating out of Guam flew over South Korea on Tuesday ahead of major joint ground, sea and air exercises later this month to demonstrate readiness against North Korean threats.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he thinks "Americans should sleep well at night, and have no concerns about this particular rhetoric over the last few days", during a surprise visit to Guam Wednesday morning.
In Asia and beyond, President Donald Trump's comment, along with his promise to unleash power "the likes of which the world has never seen", was seen as dangerously provocative brinksmanship that heightened tensions, increased the potential for miscalculation and made diplomacy with Pyongyang even more hard.
In an apparent response to U.S. President Donald Trump's warning before his inauguration in January that he may withdraw U.S. forces from Japan unless the country bears larger base costs, the white paper stressed that the U.S. military presence in Japan is also in the interest of the United States itself.
In response, the DPRK warned of preemptive strikes against the US military base of Guam in the Pacific. "I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime that the USA has the unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies, and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part".
Robert Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University, SAIDthat both North Korea and Trump were nearly certainly exaggerating in their respective rhetoric, as a conflict would be disastrous - and that Trump was likely stepping up the rhetoric to pressure China into taking action to curb North Korea's behaviour. He said Pyongyang's rhetoric had ratcheted up in the face of global opposition to its nuclear program. "It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before".
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Meanwhile, Guam's homeland security adviser George Charfauros urged calm and said defences were in place. B1-B bombers that are deployed to the Asia Pacific are based at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.
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