US Sounds Caution Over War With North Korea

US Sounds Caution Over War With North KoreaUS Sounds Caution Over War With North Korea

US Defense Secretary James Mattis delivered a somber caution on North Korea saying any military attempts to resolve the crisis would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale”. 

Mattis was speaking on Friday to reporters at the Pentagon, days after North Korea test-fired what analysts say was its longest-range rocket yet, Aljazeera reported. Despite tough talk from top US officials in recent weeks and the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the region, Mattis said the best option for North Korea is finding an international solution to effectively apply pressure on Pyongyang.

“As you know, if this goes to a military solution, it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale, and so our effort is to work with the UN, work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation,” he said.   

North Korea is accelerating efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.  Though Mattis said Pyongyang is not listening to cautions from the international community, he credited China’s efforts to apply pressure as having some limited influence.  

“There appears to be some impact by the Chinese working here,” he said.    

Mattis said the rocket tested on Sunday had gone extremely high and North Korean scientists likely learned a lot from the test. But he would not say if it was clear the missile made a controlled reentry from outside the atmosphere.  

In North Korea on Friday, thousands of residents lined the streets to give the scientists and workers behind Sunday’s missile test a hero’s welcome, state media reported. Even without its missiles, North Korea has amassed artillery units along its border with South Korea and any military action from Pyongyang could be devastating.   

The capital, Seoul, is only about 55 km away and the North could rain shells onto the city of 10 million.

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