President Donald Trump’s new defense secretary is wasting no time introducing himself to dictators around the globe!
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis just warned North Korea that opting to use ANY of its nuclear weapons on America or our allies will be met with both an “effective and overwhelming” response. Mattis’s statements about the threats posed by North Korea are already far more blunt that any comments uttered by his predecessors in the recent past, NewsMax reports.
“North Korea continues to launch missiles, develop its nuclear weapons program, and engage in threatening rhetoric and behavior,” Mattis said. The defense secretary was standing at a press conference with Defense Minister Han Min Koo, his South Korean counterpart, when issuing the warning to the Communist country.
For decades, American defense secretaries have told Japan and South Korea they were safe from threats by North Korea thanks to the United States nuclear “umbrella.” With advances in small and portable nuclear weaponry, that just might not be quite the case anymore.
“We stand with our peace-loving Republic of Korea ally to maintain stability on the peninsula and in the region,” Secretary Mattis continued. “America’s commitments to defending our allies and to upholding our extended deterrence guarantees remain ironclad: Any attack on the United States, or our allies, will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming.”
The visit to South Korea was Mattis’s first overseas trip since being confirmed as defense secretary. He reportedly wanted to reassure the nation of the American commitment to a defense treaty President Donald Trump referred to a possible bad deal during the presidential campaign.
During the race, Donald Trump voiced intense displeasure over defense treaties that disadvantaged America. Trump said he would not rule out the idea of abandoning the signatories of such treaties if they did not pay their fair share of the necessary defense costs.
Mattis also prompted discussion with the South Koreans concerning their timetable for deploying an American-made advanced missile defense system, the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
The high-tech missile system is supposed to enhance protection of South Korea and Japan from North Korea. United States troops have been stationed in both countries for decades, something which many would like to see come to an end. There are about 28,500 American troops based permanently in South Korea and another 50,000 stationed in Japan.
Mattis said the THAAD deployment needs to move ahead in spite of the political sensitivity of the missile system in Seoul. The defense secretary dubbed THAAD as an example of “defensive steps” America is taking to protect the region, and by extension the world, from “threatening rhetoric and destabilizing behavior” by North Korea.
“Were it not for the provocative behavior of North Korea, we would have no need for THAAD out here,” Mattis continued. After his stop in South Korea, Mattis flew to Tokyo for a similar chat with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
While the South Korean foreign minister said he too supports moving forward with THAAD deployment, he added such a project remains in doubt due to approaching national elections in the country.
The unwillingness to do what needs done to protect themselves, and the cost associated with providing security, is the primary reason many Trump supporters were thrilled to hear he is taking a hard line on existing treaties by those who don’t hold up their end of the bargain.