On Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a clear warning to North Korea regarding the country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. In a statement, Mattis declared, “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people,” matching the tone of previous comments made by President Trump.
As reported by The Hill, Mattis said that North Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), “must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons” and issued a stark warning regarding the continuation of such activities.
The comments released by Mattis mirrors the tone of earlier statements released by President Trump where he warned that aggressive actions towards the US on the part of North Korea could bring “fire and fury” upon the nation.
Trump asserts that, while his message caught many off guard, the tone was intentional. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, confirmed Trump discussed the “tone and strength” of his comments with senior security officials prior to his release, though the chosen words were the president’s own.
The comments were published after a report from The Washington Posts stated Pyongyang was capable of creating a nuclear warhead at a size small enough to be placed on a missile.
Mattis’ statement showed a similar tone but suggested it would take more than verbal or written threats from North Korea to spur a military response from the US, unlike Trump’s statements that suggest such threats could lead to military action.
However, Mattis also alluded that signs of serious aggression would warrant action.
“The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack,” said Mattis.
“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.”
On Wednesday, Trump released two tweets asserting US nuclear capabilities are “now far stronger and more power than ever before,” continuing, “Hopefully, we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world.”
The other comment on Twitter stated, “[Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea] has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”