Mattis warns North Korea to stand down or face 'end of regime'
Aug 10 2017
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has told Pyongyang it should stop any actions that would lead to the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people".
"The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people", Mattis said in a statement.
Al Jazeera's Heidi Zhou-Castro said that the missile that North Korea was threatening to hit Guam with was tested in May and South Korea's intelligence analysts concluded it was capable of flying up to 5,000 kilometres, "which does make Guam well within striking range".
The latest crisis intensified when reports emerged this week that United States intelligence sources believed North Korea had developed the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to fit top of a missile.
Earlier on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement carried by North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency that the Guam attack plan would be "put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment" after leader Kim Jong-un made a decision.
"The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and it would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates", he added.
North Korea vowed to retaliate against the U.S.as the resolution was pushed by Washington in response to the country's two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.
Guam hosts strategic United States military installations - including both a naval and an air force base - and is more than 3,400km from North Korea.
It may also lie in using soft power to convince North Koreans they should scrap his regime. Before Trump's tweets on the nuclear arsenal, Tillerson arrived in Guam on a previously scheduled visit after telling reporters he did not believe there was an imminent threat from North Korea and "Americans should sleep well at night". The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday.
The news comes after dictator Kim Jong Un threatened to attack US forces in Guam after revelations that his regime now has mini-nukes.
Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Trump's threat to North Korea "is reckless and shows a serious lack of judgment".
Retired Marine General James Mattis is Trump's Defense Secretary.
Tens of thousands of United States troops remain stationed in South Korea and in nearby Japan, the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons.