If there was any doubt as to the U.S. posture when it comes to North Korea, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has certainly clarified things.
As reported by The Hill, Mattis spoke on Sunday about what is considered by many to be a growing crisis, flatly saying, “Any threats to the United States or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response – a response both effective and overwhelming.” The secretary’s assertion came just after North Korea thumbed its nose once again at the U.S. and the United Nations by conducting its sixth nuclear test.
“Kim Jong-un should take heed the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses, and they remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea,” Mattis said.
Waiting for the “but”? Do you think there was a “but”?
You’re right, there was.
“But as I said,” the secretary ominously noted, “we have many options to do so.”
Mattis’ comments were the first made on-camera by an administration official since the most recent nuclear test was conducted. The secretary did not respond to questions after his appearance outside the West Wing.
Apparently, he felt that he had said all he needed to.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large