The U.S. defense secretary says the U.S. will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.
Jim Mattis said Saturday in Seoul that the North’s aggressive nuclear and missile development programs are undermining the isolated nation’s security instead of securing it.
Mattis warned the North that its military is no match for the military might of the U.S. and South Korea alliance.
“Make no mistake,” Mattis said, “any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming.”
The secretary said once again as he as said all week on his Asian trip that diplomacy is the preferred way of dealing with North Korea.
Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held annual consultations with South Korean defense officials Saturday, marking the first time the Security Consultative Meeting has been held since the inauguration of South Korea President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump.
On Friday, Mattis met with President Moon and spoke to U.S. and South Korean troops at the Panmunjom “truce village” where South Korea meets North Korea.
The secretary’s Asian trip has included stops in Thailand and the Philippines.