Donald Trump is determined to deal with North Korea’s nuclear menace once and for all.
But Kim Jong Un keeps pushing the envelope.
Now Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the four words about the crisis and they can only mean one thing.
Mattis was addressing troops at Fort Bragg when he uttered a jaw dropping assessment of the situation of the Korean Peninsula.
He declared that storm clouds are gathering and that the only way to prevent war was to be ready to fight one.
Associated Press reported:
“Storm clouds are gathering” over the Korean Peninsula, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared Friday. And as diplomats try to resolve the nuclear standoff, he told soldiers that the U.S. military must do its part by being ready for war.
Without forecasting a conflict, Mattis emphasized that diplomacy stands the best chance of preventing a war if America’s words are backed up by strong and prepared armed forces.
“My fine young soldiers, the only way our diplomats can speak with authority and be believed is if you’re ready to go,” Mattis told several dozen soldiers and airmen at the 82nd Airborne Division’s Hall of Heroes, his last stop on a two-day pre-holiday tour of bases to greet troops.
Mattis’ comments came as the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea, compelling nations to sharply reduce their sales of oil to the reclusive country and send home all North Korean expatriate workers within two years. Such workers are seen as a key source of revenue for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s cash-strapped government.
President Donald Trump and other top U.S. officials have made repeated threats about U.S. military action. Some officials have described the messaging as twofold in purpose: to pressure North Korea to enter into negotiations on getting rid of its nuclear arsenal, and to motivate key regional powers China and Russia to put more pressure on Pyongyang so a war is averted.”
But not all of Mattis’ remarks forecast war.
He remained optimistic that a diplomatic solution could be reached.
Associated Press also reported:
“Asked about recent reports that families of U.S. service members in South Korea might be evacuated, Mattis stressed his belief that diplomacy could still avert a crisis. He said there is no plan now for an evacuation.
“I don’t think it’s at that point yet,” he said, adding that an evacuation of American civilians would hurt the South Korean economy. He said there is a contingency plan that would get U.S. service members’ families out “on very short notice.”
Mattis said he sees little chance of Kim disrupting the Winter Olympics, which begin in South Korea in February.
“I don’t think Kim is stupid enough to take on the whole world by killing their athletes,” he said.
Mattis repeatedly stressed that there is still time to work out a peaceful solution. At one point he said diplomacy is “going positively.” But he also seemed determined to steel U.S. troops against what could be a costly war on the Korean Peninsula.
“There is very little reason for optimism,” he said.”
Do you believe Donald Trump will peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear standoff?
Or will war break out?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.