Defense Secretary and retired U.S. Marine General James Mattis has joined President Trump’s harsh threats and warnings against North Korea with a statement issued today. Mattis ordered the North Koreans to stand down and cease working on their nuclear weapons program, “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” or risk facing, “the destruction of its people.”
This is certainly cause for increased alarm, as many believed President Trump’s extreme rhetoric against North Korea was him acting on his own. Many believe that Generals like Mattis are the calmer heads that are really in control, so Mattis joining Trump and threatening the destruction of North Korea’s people with similar rhetoric to Trump, is legitimately alarming.
It’s also a really bad sign to see Mattis taking a much different approach to this situation when compared to Tillerson, revealing that they are not on the same page here. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Guam after it was threatened by North Korea and said he doesn’t think there is an “any imminent threat” from North Korea and that “Americans should sleep well at night.”
Worse case scenario, is that Mattis is ready for war with North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program. On statement to the House Armed Services Committee.th, Mattis said that, “The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have not abated despite United Nations’ censure and sanctions,” in a written
Best case scenario, is that Mattis is responding to Trump’s threats by trying to walk them back a bit with a more specific message. Mattis is trying to tell North Korea that the threat on Guam last night was too much. He could also be signaling to China that they really need to get involved and help control this situation. Mattis’ full statement is below,
“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 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.
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.”