Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'
13 August, 2017, 15:03 | Author: Brenda Erickson
The State Department is holding a briefing a day after it was revealed North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads for use in ballistic missiles, leading to an exchange of threats between the US and the Kim Jong Un regime.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said during a August 11 press conference that a war with North Korea would be "catastrophic". "It doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic". And I want to stay right there right now.
Mattis's comments today also echo a statement the Secretary of Defense made in May, in which he told a Pentagon press conference that war with North Korea "tragic on an unbelievable scale".
He spoke a day after President Trumpwarned that he would unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to threaten America, rhetoric that suggested the two countries are edging closer to conflict.
"If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack, of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous", Trump said.
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The North was responding to Trump's threat in a statement from its military carried by state-run news agency KCNA.
North Korea on Thursday announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.
Mattis also noted that the U.S.is also ready for a military conflict if it comes to that.
He told reporters that the diplomacy effort spearheaded by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley "has [gained] diplomatic traction" and "is gaining diplomatic results", according to the BBC.
Military action should not be an option when confronting the problem of escalating tensions with North Korea, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said in a statement.
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Housebuilders Persimmon and Barratt Developments were among the biggest gainers of the day, up 1.58% and 1.02% respectively. In oil, the price of Brent crude sunk by 0.5% to 51.65 USA dollars a barrel amid concerns about over supply in the market.
US stocks slip amid heightened US-North Korea tensions
While the UK's FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.6%, the German DAX Index slumped by 1.1% and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.4%. Crude futures meanwhile extended losses on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over global oversupply.
Guam keeps its cool after North Korea strike threat
As part of its defenses on Guam, the United States installed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in 2013. Guam's Homeland Security Adviser George Charfauros urged calm and said defenses are in place for such threats.
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