On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that the threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea “has accelerated” and that Washington would never accept a nuclear North.
“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, speaking alongside South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo at a press conference in Seoul.
“I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power,” said Mattis.
The defense secretary said that while diplomacy remains the preferred way to deal with North Korea, “any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming.”
“With that said, 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,” he said.
Last week, two more U.S. aircraft carriers joined the USS Ronald Reagan based in Japan.
“Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie Jr, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters last week the three carrier groups would conduct a joint exercise to demonstrate their ‘unique and powerful capability,’ the first time that's happened in the Pacific in a decade,” writes CNN.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Air Force sent one of its B-2 stealth bombers to the Asia-Pacific region, reports CNN.
The Air Force also plans to deploy 12 of its F-35 stealth fighters to the region for the first time in November.
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