Trump, Xi agree on maximizing pressure' on N. Korea

Jerome Frank
September 20, 2017

He was referring to an accelerating series of missile tests by North Korea that have defied US and worldwide warnings to stop.

Mattis also acknowledged Monday that he and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo discussed the option of redeploying US tactical nuclear weapons to the South during Song's visit to Washington late last month, but refused to say whether there was any chance of realizing that idea.

He also said, without elaboration, that the Trump administration has military options against North Korea that would not put Seoul at risk.

Mattis also said that he discussed with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo the issue of reintroducing tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea to counter North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile threats.

The United States and its allies have been scrambling to respond to North Korea's accelerating nuclear program, which appears to be growing more sophisticated.

Mattis told reporters that he believed diplomacy and sanctions were so far succeeding in putting more pressure on Pyongyang. They added that if flown on a normal trajectory it could reach the US military bases of Guam in the western pacific. The ministry said that after looking at the missile's height, distance, speed and flight time with their USA counterparts, they can conclude that it was a Hwasong-12 intermediate range rocket.

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In a phone call the two men discussed "North Korea's continued defiance of the worldwide community and its efforts to destabilize Northeast Asia, " the White House said.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted that any use of lethal force against North Korea would be overwhelming, using phrases like "fire and fury" that evoke images of nuclear war.

He said Pyongyang's calculus appeared to be created to race forward with its missile program, "without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable".

Her visit raised suspicion whether the United States was actually considering a pre-emptive attack on North Korea, but an official from the US military denied the speculation, saying Cordray had previously visited in May and that her most recent trip was part of a routine check of local systems. "The bottom line is that, when the missiles - were they to be a threat, whether it be to USA territory, Guam, obviously Japan - Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said. "So they aim for the middle of the Pacific Ocean".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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