Mattis: Returning Nukes to South Korea Discussed

Kim Jong Nam. Pic  AFP

Speaking before a meeting with the Romanian defense minister at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was asked about Trump's comments at the United Nations that "rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime", referring to the North Korean leader by the nickname he coined on Twitter over the weekend.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has already said that his country seeks to reach "equilibrium" of military force with the US.

It's hard to understand what the Pentagon could do to stop a North Korean nuclear program or take out its leader, Kim Jong Un, while preventing Pyongyang from fighting back.

'I do not think this guy will commit suicide, ' Mr Turnbull told the Seven Network on Wednesday.

North Korea's weapons drive was set to dominate Trump's address to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday and his meetings with South Korean and Japanese leaders this week.

In early September, North Korea claimed it tested a nuclear bomb created to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

But concerns over Kim's missile program have increased after the tyrant threatened to shoot a rocket at Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, just 2,100 miles away from North Korea.

Russian Federation has joined China's call for a "dual-track" approach in which North Korea suspends its weapons program in return for the US and South Korea halting military drills in the region. "Thank you to all involved", said Trump.

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As for exports, 83% of North Korea's exports went to China.

"They will put nearly all South Korean citizens against the United States because it is totally against the very goal of the security partnership between the United States and South Korea", said Bong. "If that doesn't work, General Mattis will take care of it", she said on CNN's "State of the Union". Officials and pundits across Asia struggled Wednesday to decode President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy North Korea" if provoked.

"If nuclear war breaks out with the USA, no one will survive in this land".

North Korea's nuclear weapons program will be a major topic of discussion at this week's United Nations General Assembly in NY. But other non-kinetic options could include a show of force in the air or on land in the region or increasing the U.S. military presence in the area by deploying more ships or troops.

However, the foreign ministry statement, carried by the country's official news agency KCNA, said: "The increased moves of the U.S. and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure on the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force".

"The bottom line is that in the missiles, were they to be a threat, whether it be the USA territory Guam, obviously Japan, Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said.

This calculus is remarkably similar to that of Kim il-Sung in 1950, although in this case North Korea's own nuclear arsenal (presumably directed at Japan) would provide some deterrent.

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