Korea War Would Be 'Catastrophic,' Diplomacy Bearing Fruit: US's Mattis

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday blasted President Trump's aggressive response to the North Korean nuclear threat, saying the administration needs to demonstrate "steady leadership" in a crisis. "However, right now, Secretary Tillerson, Ambassador Haley, you can see the American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results".

"The tragedy of war is well-enough known it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic", he added.

Britain's UN ambassador said the United Kingdom "stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States" in tackling the nuclear threat from North Korea and making sure it can not pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

North Korea claims that the exercise is a rehearsal for war and has laid out plans to strike near the USA territory of Guam.

Turnbull added: "If North Korea decides to carry out some of its violent threats, then obviously bad consequences will follow".

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Thursday that the United States military is prepared to respond to an attack from North Korea "should they be needed".

A new report says Pyongyang's nuclear programme is progressing.

The Pentagon chief on Wednesday issued a carefully worded statement telling North Korea it would be "grossly" outmatched in any conflict with the U.S., and warning Pyongyang to stop considering any action that risked "the destruction of its people".

Pyongyang has been louder in its complaints against a new and tough round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, with strong USA backing, and Washington's use of Guam as a staging ground for its stealth bombers, which could be used to attack North Korea and are a particularly sore point with the ruling regime in Pyongyang.

"North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation".

'The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is highly complicated and sensitive.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "troubled" by the escalating rhetoric from all sides in the North Korea nuclear dispute.

On Thursday, U.S. and Japanese troops began an 18-day live fire exercise on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which was to include rocket artillery drills and involve 3,500 troops.

South Korean and US troops are also gearing up for an annual joint drill from August 21, called the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, in which up to 30,000 USA troops will take part.

"The prime minister says he discussed the threat with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence overnight". Moon is likely to highlight his policy on North Korea on the holiday, the only one the two Koreas share.

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