Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a recent “Face the Nation” interview that he “keeps other people awake at night.”
After his statement about North Korea's nuclear saber-rattling, it seems he's making good on that promise and will be keeping many in Pyongyang wide awake.
According to recent Independent Journal Review reporting, the world was stunned this week as U.S. intelligence reported that North Korea may have finally reached the milestone of a weapons-grade deliverable nuclear warhead.
The tin-pot dictatorship has a decades-long history of saber rattling and openly stating its desire to become a nuclear power. Finally, it seems, it has achieved that goal, and the region will never be the same. The dark achievement comes after decades of appeasement of the tyrannical communist dictatorship by American presidents, both Republican and Democrat.
The Trump administration, for its part, has led with a very heavy hand in the Korean crisis. Seven months into his administration, Trump has ramped up defenses in South Korea, sanctioned North Korea harshly in the United Nations, and has taken a tone that calls out the despot's threat directly.
After the warhead capability was announced, Trump warned in a press conference that threats against the U.S. “will be met with the fire and the fury like the world has never seen.”
Sec. Def. Mattis is now following suit, releasing this statement (emphasis added), promising that:
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.
The sound you just heard was Kim questioning all of his life choices so far.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.