Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that the U.S. and the United Nations had no choice but to come together on a plan to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
At a London press conference, Mattis was asked about Iran, which the former general once said was the greatest threat facing the United States. But Mattis quickly pivoted to the Kim Jong-un regime, which may tell you something about the Trump administration’s priorities when it comes to national security.
“This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability, and we will be working with the international community to address this,” he said. “We are working through the United Nations, we are working our allies, and we are working diplomatically including with those who we might be able to enlist in this effort to get North Korea under control.”
Mattis said the need for progress was urgent.
“Right now, it appears to be going in a very reckless manner in what its conduct is portraying for the future and it’s got to be stopped,” he said of the regime.
Mattis isn’t the only administration official raising the tone of rhetoric when it comes to North Korea. Reportedly, President Obama told Donald Trump that the Kim regime was now the greatest threat facing the U.S. And last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was time for the U.S. and its allies to take a “different approach” to curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Since taking power from his father five years ago, the mad dictator Kim has carried out a variety of ballistic and nuclear weapons tests, all of which violate international sanctions. Experts believe the regime has between 10 and 20 nuclear warheads, but they do not believe they have the missile technology capable of delivering those warheads to the U.S. mainland.
In a state broadcast last week, the Kim regime said, “Our military declares our stand to mercilessly smash all of our enemy’s moves with our own preemptive special operation and attack, as the wicked plan for the U.S. and South Korean war maniacs’ special operations aiming at our supreme leader is becoming apparent.”
Clearly, the Trump administration recognizes that we can no longer afford the “strategic patience” demonstrated by the Obama White House. Kim’s capabilities are growing and his sanity is deteriorating. There may be no easy way to keep this lunatic in check, unfortunately.
Which means, of course, that it’s time to start considering the hard ways.