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Mattis: threat of North Korea nuclear attack 'is accelerating'

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said the threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea is accelerating.In remarks in Seoul with South Korean defence minister Song Young-moo at his side, Mattis accused the North of illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear programs – and vowed to defeat any attack.

Mattis said the North engages in “outlaw” behaviour and that the US will never accept a nuclear North. He added that regardless of what the North might try, it is overmatched by the firepower and cohesiveness of the decades-old US-South Korean alliance.

“North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs,” he said, adding that US-South Korean military and diplomatic collaboration thus has taken on “a new urgency.” “I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power,” he said, as reported by Guardian. 

As he emphasized throughout his weeklong Asia trip, which included stops in Thailand and the Philippines, Mattis said diplomacy remains the preferred way to deal with the North. “With that said,” he added, “make no mistake – 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.”


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