Mattis Hints at Military Options on North Korea but Offers No Details

Lester Mason
September 21, 2017

The United States hopes to find a diplomatic solution to the situation in North Korea and is addressing it through an global process, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump, in a U.N. address, escalated his standoff with Pyongyang.

The United States has military options for North Korea that do not put Seoul at grave risk, Washington's top defense official said Monday.

South Korea has raised the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to the peninsula. But he declined to say whether the option is under consideration.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Trump said in an address to the U.N. General Assembly that the U.S. may have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if it is forced to defend itself or its allies.

A pair of B-1B bombers and F-35 fighter jets were scrambled by the U.S. today towards Korea, South Korea's Defence Ministry said.

Tensions have run high in the region as North Korea has tested a series of ballistic missiles as well as a nuclear weapon it claims was an H-bomb.

Still, despite heated rhetoric and posturing in the United States and North Korea, there has been no positioning of US military assets to suggest a military conflict is imminent. China in turn favors an worldwide response to the problem. "We continue to press on the diplomatic level".

"So, yes, it's working", he said. It would then be up to American missile defenses to knock out any that survived and that North Korea might use to attack the United States or its allies. Mattis confirmed that policy on Monday, saying it would not shoot down a North Korean missile unless it poses a direct threat to the United States or its allies.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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