If Kim Jong Un won't listen to President Trump, the Mad Dog could make him heel. Secretary of Defense James "Mad Dog" Mattis echoed his boss's fiery warning Wednesday to the dictator of North Korea with harsh rhetoric of his own, Fox News reported. And this time, the words came from a battle-tested, four-star U.S. Marine Corps general.
"The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons," Mattis said in a statement. "The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."
Mattis provided a powerful follow-up to Trump's warning that Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" should it continue to test missiles, build nuclear warheads and threaten to attack the United States. Lest anyone think Trump was speaking without the counsel of his top military man, Mattis said Trump is well aware of the depth of the North Korean threat.
A report released Tuesday that Pyongyang has missile-ready nukes, combined with months of missile tests and threats from Kim, has brought the world to the brink. Punishing sanctions passed last week by the U.N. only served to increase Pyongyang's hostility toward the world, and in particular, the U.S.
Statement by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis
The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack. Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability. The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.
President Trump was informed of the growing threat last December and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces. While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth. The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.