Mattis: North Korea "Threatens With Catastrophe"

With two feet planted firmly at the 38th parallel, US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday accused North Korea of building a nuclear arsenal to “threaten others with catastrophe, according to local media reports.

Mattis, who is visiting South Korea and a handful of regional allies before President Donald Trump decamps for his first Asia tour next week, visited the DMZ in a demonstration of solidarity with South Korea. At the border, he reaffirmed that the Trump administration wants to avoid war if possible and remains committed to forcing North Korea to disarm. The reason for Mattis’s visit? Meetings with South Korean counterpart Song Young-moo for talks about the deteriorating situation in North Korea. Bloomberg reported.

However, while he warned of North Korea's destructive capabilities, he also stressed that the US remains committed to finding a peaceful solution.

“Our goal is not war, but rather the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Mattis said, as North Korean soldiers kept watch nearby.

His visit follows exercises last week involving the US and South Korean navies that featured the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier, as well as three nuclear submarines. The unprecedented show of force elicited an outraged response from the North, which described the military drills as preparation for a pre-emptive strike and nuclear war against his country and badgered the UN Security Council to address them.

Trump is scheduled to depart a week from today on a trip that includes visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. It will likely focus on the nuclear threat posed by the restive North and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

So far, Trump has refused to say if he will visit the DMZ during his trip to Korea. Even as it has stepped up its threats of a nuclear offensive, North Korea’s last missile launch was on Sept. 15., when it fired an intermediate-range missile over northern Japan. An expected test of a long-range ICBM to coincide with an Oct. 10 holiday and the Oct. 18 beginning of China’s National Party Congress failed to materialize.

However, Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said Oct. 16 that a nuclear war “may break out any moment” and that “the entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range." Another senior official told CNN this week that the world should take literally his country’s threat to test a nuclear weapon

South Korea’s military said this week that no particular signs beyond ordinary activities have been spotted, though North Korea continues to seek the capability to strike the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.

Reuters reported, above the faint sound of North Korean propaganda music being blasted from across the border, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo warned about the North’s nuclear program and the array of conventional artillery positioned just across the border, and said South Korea’s defenses would not be able to stop a North Korean onslaught should war break out.

“Defending against this many LRAs (long-range artillery) is infeasible in my opinion,” Song told Mattis, citing a need for strategies to “offensively neutralize” the artillery in the event of a conflict.

Mattis replied: “Understood”.

Surprisingly, the North has made at least one major gesture of peace ahead of Mattis’s visit that could be a harbinger of talks between the US and the North – a possibility that Trump is once again encouraging after initially telling Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not to waste his time.

Case in point, North Korea returned on Friday a South Korean fishing boat and crew captured last week in a gesture that local media reports described as a 'humanitarian transfer.' Pyongyang notified Seoul via a report from its official Korean Central News Agency as all inter-Korean communication lines have been cut off, South Korea’s Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said at a briefing.

Still, the US remains on high alert: Last week, CIA chief Mike Pompeo said North Korea could be only months away from developing the ability to hit the United States with nuclear weapons, a scenario Trump has vowed to prevent.
 

Comments

tmosley skbull44 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:34 Permalink

“Our goal is not war, but rather the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,”That is a problem, as there is no such thing as irreversible denuclearization. Anyone can build a bomb. All it takes is the know-how, which isn't going anywhere, and the resources, which will always exist somewhere.

In reply to by skbull44

IH8OBAMA Perimetr Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:31 Permalink

In a story on Drudge it says the NK citizens are starting to deface the Kim statues and posters to a greater degree than ever.  They are pissed about being starved so he can spend the country's money on his nuclear program.That would be the best solution, if Fatso KimUn got toppled by a pragmatic group.  Even if it was a military coup. 

In reply to by Perimetr

sheikurbootie tmosley Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:57 Permalink

China gets it.  They'll be the one's held to verify AND held to suffer the consequences.  Everyone in the world knows DPNK is owned by China.  Let's stop kidding ourselves. Trump told Xi to get it together or else.  China will be effected by either nuclear fallout or a flood of starving people.  Xi wants time, Trump said "here's your rope, take as much as you need to hang yourself".

In reply to by tmosley

halcyon tmosley Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:51 Permalink

The blackmail-threat game doesn't work, if the enemy has nukes. Ask Israel.That's why US wants nukes off NK and wants to join it with it's vassal state SK, which it alread has under tight wraps (witness the ousting of the previous president who didn't play ball with Washington's neocon policies). 

In reply to by tmosley

Bill of Rights skbull44 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:50 Permalink
  • Trump leaning towards Powell for Fed Chair - report
  • Bloomberg cites three people familiar with Trump'
  • Decision isn't yet final
  • Trump's advisers have been steering him toward choosing either Powell or Taylor for the job, according to several people familiar with the deliberations

Full report.The report is weighing on the US dollar and pulling down yields. The market had been leaning towards Taylor since the middle of this week when there were reports he won a straw poll among Senators.Stocks and bonds are going to like this news, while the dollar has come under pressure.

In reply to by skbull44

liverdiefree ljag Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:24 Permalink

Your history is a bit off. There was no surrender until after the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki; not even the first one on Hiroshima was sufficient. That's a fact & not subject to "interpretation." If your father was in the huge group of servicemen preparing to invade Japan you can bet he was absolutely thrilled. The "debate" over what would have happened if the bombs had not been dropped is beyond useless. Libtards, none of whom were preparing to invade or had responsibility for millions of servicemen, claim the surrender would have happened anyway. Non-libtards look at the history of Japan's actions and think otherwise. All of that is just useless speculation.

In reply to by ljag

idahobandito skbull44 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:02 Permalink

Same old line of bullshit....I'll remind you that had Russia built the atomic bomb AT THE TIME, they would have used it on Germany. If GB had it, they also would have bombed Germany with it. If Japan had it, they would have used it on the USA. If Germany had it, they would have used it on everyone......get the picture? or is your head still up your ass.

In reply to by skbull44

veritas semper… idahobandito Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:34 Permalink

History is made of FACTS,not presumptions.And the facts are: US is the only country to have dropped a nuclear bombs(2)on CIVILIANS,with no military importance,and for no good reason,but to test them and to threaten USSR. Those are the facts,if they are uncomfortable to you,so be it. Does not change history.Other facts are:-US started wars of aggression all over the world.It is easier to count the countries NOT attacked by the Evil Empire.Millions killied for the dominance of the petro-f*cking-dollar-US has 900+ millitary bases all over the world and is involved in multiple covert and overt operations :Somali,Niger,Sudan,Ukraine,Syria,Afghanistan,Iraq,Venezuela,Yemen,Libya,etc.-US was/is involved in multiple "color revolutions" to topple the governments it does not like and which oppose US.See recent comment of our current idiot Secretary of State T Rex,that "Assad 's days are numbered" and the comment of the Russians that US should abstain on commenting on Assad's fate.-US has withdrew and did not honor ANY treaty it has signed.-US has created the terrorists organisations(AlQaeda,ISIS,Muslim Brotherhood,well this was created by their sister in crime,Britain,the buccaneer and pirate empire) and used them to kill innocents . See the desaster in Syria,Iraq,Libya. To give to this weight and justify a "war on terror" ,US killed its own population in the FF attack on 9/11(plus other multiple false flags)-US has  triggered a catastrophe on the Korean peninsula in the past ,resulting in the  killing of 1/3 of their population,destroying 18 of 22 big cities,and ALL their infrastructure.Now,ask yourself,how would you feel if a country has done this to US(for no good reason by the way):kill 100 mil civilians,flatten all cities on the East and West coasts and all infrastructure(here I have to admit,would not be too much to destroy,our infrastructure is decaying by itself and the neglect of our glorious leaders)-US does not do ANY effort to negotiate,it does not even know the meaning of the word.It has installed THAAD in SK,and this is not a defence system,it can easily have a software upgrade and fitted with NUCLEAR MISSILES against China,Russia and NK. US has done the same in Europe,in Romania and Poland. US has every year massive military "exercises" in SK. Also near the Russian border.-and ALL these are ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL activities. Not that it matters anymore,we have a government of thugs,thieves and gansters,we are a rogue nation.I understand that these FACTS are very unpopular ,but nevertheless ,they are true. If somebody can dispute them,I'm open for discussion

In reply to by idahobandito

King of Ruperts Land veritas semper… Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:50 Permalink

An elite criminal gang pretending to be the legitimate US Government did that in criminal alliance with a MIC mob.

Then there is the elite class that have literally looted raped and pillaged.

There would be little or no national and less private debt if the looting and pillaging were recovered.

These criminals need to be rounded up and their assets confiscated. They need to name names and confess, if they are to be let off with less than death sentences.

In reply to by veritas semper…

veritas semper… Cognitive Dissonance Fri, 10/27/2017 - 18:17 Permalink

The Evil Empire is dying.It is receiving blows after blows,and does not know how to react ,but only to threaten.And threats do not work anymore,all ex vassal and little countries have learned the power of "NYET".Another recent blow to it : Russia and Qatar sign agreement on military and technical cooperation. Will we see a Russian military base near our CENTCOM or CENTCOM is on its way out?ROTFLOL!

In reply to by Cognitive Dissonance

Parrotile whatswhat1@yahoo.com Fri, 10/27/2017 - 18:54 Permalink

China rightfully demands INDEPENDENT proof that NK actually DID "nuke US"China backs NK Internationally. "No proof, unjustified assumption", and "assists" in "Retaliatory Measures"US nukes China, again "in retaliation"Russia flattens US. (remember that Mutual Defence Treaty?)For the West - Game Over (and depending on the magnitude of the "exchange", maybe "Game Over" for civilisation as we know it - for some considerable time . . . . .)"Have a nice day!"

In reply to by whatswhat1@yahoo.com

Consuelo Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:36 Permalink

  Both Japan and South Korea are perfectly capable of coordinating and defending themselves.  Likely that their citizens prefer 'independence' in this area of geopolitics as well.    The U.S. has no business militarily in that region of the world any longer. 

Consuelo aurum4040 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:55 Permalink

  Right-O... So tell me: by your logic, why don't we have a 3-carrier strike-group/s somewhere in the Black Sea...?   I mean, those awful Soviets are an even bigger threat to multiple nations - and they have the real deals (deliverable nuclear weapons).   Putin?   He's crazy too - what with murdering journalists who disagree with him & all that, right...?C'mon man, where's your consistency...?

In reply to by aurum4040

veritas semper… Consuelo Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:43 Permalink

By the way,have you seen the recent tentative of color revolution in Russia? A journalist from an opposition radio post was stabed in the neck,this was supposed to trigger a massive street protest against Mr. Putin for not "protecting the opposition and killing journalists"The only problem was they caught the perpetrator and ...surprise...gasp...it was an Israeli citizen,as in Mo$$ad operative.So the whole operation deflated.Ha,those pesky russians!

In reply to by Consuelo