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Mattis Warns North Korea of 'Overwhelming' Response to Any Use of Nukes
04 February 2017, 12:45 | Candice Butler
Donat Sorokin TASS
The United States pledged to provide protection to South Korea, since the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice agreement.
The North appears to have restarted operation of a reactor at its main Yongbyon nuclear facility that produces plutonium that can be used for its nuclear weapons programme, according to United States think tank 38 North.
However, nobody would naively believe it as the THAAD installation implies South Korea becomes part of the US missile defense networking in Northeast Asia involving the United States and its two allies, the other being Japan.
Hwang said there is a need to change North Korea's "strategic calculus" through global sanctions and pressure.
During a meeting with South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn and national security adviser Kim Kwan-Jin, Mattis underscored the Trump administration's commitment to the Asia-Pacific and strengthening the alliance between the USA and South Korea.
Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis sent a no-holds-barred threat to the dictator on a visit to neighbouring South Korea.
North Korea, which regularly threatens the US and South Korea, conducted more than 20 missile test launches and two nuclear weapons tests during 2016.
And while Mattis was airborne, the Washington Postreported that Trump's 25 minute call with the prime minister of Australia, a key U.S. ally in the Asia Pacific, consisted of Trump bragging about his electoral victory and hanging up over a deal struck between U.S. President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over refugees.
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"Were it not for the provocative behavior of North Korea, we would have no need for THAAD out here", Mattis explained.
Mattis, along with other US officials, has insisted that THAAD is a defensive system in nature and that no nation other than North Korea should be concerned about its pending deployment. The sanction is set to put a cap on North Korea's main coal exports, the nation's main external revenue source. Last year, Chinese ambassador to South Korea had said S Korea-China relationship will end in "an instant" if United States deploys THAAD.
Both Japan and South Korea rejected this idea.
"And were it not for the provocative behavior of North Korea, we would have no need for THAAD", he added, expressing commitment for the deployment of the USA anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.
A view of artillery fire and landing exercises guided by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (not seen) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang February 21, 2015.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived here Thursday, when he met with Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn who is serving as acting South Korean president following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye as well as Kim Kwan-jin, top presidential security advisor.
Both China and Russian Federation, however, have stated their opposition to such a move. "The secretary responded that the alliance would continue to take defensive measures in response to this threat developments, such as the stationing of THAAD to Korean Peninsula". However a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told the BBC on Friday that Beijing "remained firmly opposed to the deployment of the missile system".
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