James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense, warned North Korea on Wednesday, saying it will face devastation if it doesn’t stop pursuing nuclear weapons.
In a statement, Mattis said that the DPRK has to cease isolating itself. It must also stand down and end any activity that involves nuclear weapons. It must end any action it plans to take that would definitely lead to the regime's end and the destruction of its citizens.
The Defense Secretary also matched President’s tone as the administration believes it proved effective.
Last Tuesday, Pres. Trump gave a warning to North Korea, saying there will be "fire and fury" to the regime and its people if it takes any aggressive step toward the US. The warning caught everyone off guard and people raised concerns that Trump’s comment may escalate tensions between both countries.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Press Secretary of the White House, said the "strength and tone" of Trump's message were discussed by the President and his national security advisors. Of course, the words Pres. Trump used were his own.
The statement of Mattis was just as firm and tough in terms of tone with DPRK. However, it just indicated mere threats, which are routinely given by the government. It’s not likely that the threats to Pyongyang will lead to US military action.
"The allies of the US and the country itself have demonstrated unquestionable commitment and capabilities to defend the country from an attack," said Pres. Trump.
He added: "The US State Department is doing everything it can to ensure the global threat brought by DPRK is resolved through diplomatic means. However, we must remember that allied militaries possess precise, robust, and rehearsed offensive and defensive capabilities. The actions of the DPRK regime will surely be grossly overmatched to the actions of the US. DPRK will lose the conflict it initiates or any arms race."
The President made his comments public on Tuesday while he was in a meeting about the opioid crisis. The Washington Post published an article regarding Pyongyang and its capability to create a small nuclear warhead that can be placed on a missile.
His remarks showed that the US can strike this isolated nation based only on written or spoken threats.
"Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has been giving threats and is trying to intimidate us. As I said, DPRK will face fire, fury, and power – the likes that the world hasn't ever seen before," exclaimed the President while in Bedminster, NJ.
In 2 tweets posted on Wednesday, the President said the country's nuclear arsenal is currently "more powerful and far stronger than ever before." According to Pres. Trump, he hopes there won’t be any cause to use such power.
"However, there won't be a time that the US is not the world's most powerful nation."
These remarks were criticized by members of both the Republican and Democrat parties.