North Korea attack 'could escalate into war,' says Mattis - Macleans.ca
 

North Korea attack ‘could escalate into war,’ says Mattis

The U.S. Defence Secretary said the U.S. would ‘take out’ any missiles seen to be heading for American soil


 
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017. (KCNA/Reuters)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017. (KCNA/Reuters)

WASHINGTON — The United States would “take out” any North Korean missile seen to be heading for American soil, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday.

He declared that any such North Korean attack could lead to war.

Responding to reporters’ questions about North Korea’s assertion that it might soon fire four ballistic missiles into the waters off Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, Mattis made clear he did not want to be seen as escalating the tensions.

“If they fire at the United States, it could escalate into war very quickly,” he said. “Yes, that’s called war, if they shoot at us.”

Later he said, “If they shoot at the United States, I’m assuming they hit the United States. If they do that, it’s game on.”

RELATED: How possible is a war between the U.S. and North Korea?

Mattis said U.S. missile detection and tracking systems can determine swiftly whether a missile launched from North Korea is headed for U.S. soil. North Korea said last week it is considering launching four missiles to land just short of Guam.

If a missile is judged to be headed for the island, Mattis said: “We’ll take it out.”

If the U.S. determines the missile would fall into the sea short of Guam, he said “it becomes an issue we take up however the president chooses.”

The U.S. has missile defences on Guam, at sea and in the continental U.S. that are designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.

MORE: As the North Korean crisis escalates, Canada must step up

Mattis was asked whether decisions had already been made about how to respond in the event a North Korean missile lands in the waters off Guam.

“You can’t make all those kinds of decision in advance,” he said. “There’s a host of things going on. There’s allies that we consult with.”

Mattis was reluctant to speak in detail about how the Trump administration will handle future North Korean missile launches.

“I need a certain amount of ambiguity on this” to prevent North Korea from knowing too much about U.S. planning, he said.

 


 

North Korea attack ‘could escalate into war,’ says Mattis

  1. Well Americans couldn’t beat them last time……

    • The “last time” is still officially on-going. ;-)

    • you need to reread the history of the Korean war. they beat them and pushed them all the way to the Chinese border at which point the Chinese sent human wave attacks in vast numbers and still the UN forces held them back at the dmz line.
      The situation today is very different. China’s ambitions are checked by north Korea. They have little faith in that regime staying in power and have built a huge zombie fence along the border after the last massacre by a north Korean refugee of a doz villagers on the border.
      They [china] have stated publicly that they would not support the north Korea if they attacked first.
      North Korea has not fought a real war in over 50 years so there in field, in battle capacity’ is most likely very low, they have not faced modern weapons nor dealt with 24 /7 battle surveillance.
      Plus south Korea spent the last decade upgrading its army with brand new specialty tanks and assault rifles fit for 21 st century war. The new k2 black panther tank is unlike anything in the north’s outdated arsenal, can climb mountains, go underwater, and has advanced swarm fire controls which is unlike anything north Korea has faced before.
      They nature of this potential war is that it would have to be fought conventionally, so a large scale guerrilla war like in Iraq isn’t possible until the north was completely occupied, and unlike Iraq the Souths army would be there as well as the US and UN.
      Also the one million dollar question is when the bombs fall does the population turn on the regime or fight to the end of it? The evidence would suggest they would turn on it.

  2. And yet today nearly every media outlet is carrying stories on the encouraging “being the scenes” negotiations taking place.