Mattis warns North Korean recklessness ‘has got to be stopped’

by WorldTribune Staff, March 31, 2017

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on March 31 continued to press the harder line taken by the Trump administration on North Korea.

“Right now, [North Korea] appears to be going in a very reckless manner … and that has got to be stopped,” Mattis said at a press conference in London on March 31.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. /Getty Images

Related: Poised for war: Tensions mount North and South of Korea’s DMZ, March 22, 2017

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the “diplomatic … efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to a point of de-nuclearization have failed.”

Tillerson said that military action was “on the table.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has overseen three nuclear tests and conducted more missile tests in the past four years than in the rest of the country’s history. He has also vowed to develop missiles capable of striking the United States and its allies.

A full-scale invasion of North Korea would be unlikely, according to U.S. Army strategist Maj. ML Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh wrote an article in the Modern War Institute at West Point, which is a research center of the United States Military Academy, warning of North Korea’s tough, “Afghanistan-like geography” and an army that could act like “a much better-trained, much better-armed version of the Taliban.”

An American invasion would also carry the risk of a retaliatory missile strike against America’s allies, South Korea and Japan, Cavanaugh said. The South Korean capital of Seoul, with its population of 10 million, is just 50 miles from its border with the North.