Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday that if North Korea launches a missile in the direction of Guam, U.S. armed forces ‘will take it out.’ And he warned that ‘if they fire at the United States, it could escalate into war very quickly.’
EDITOR’S NOTE: President Trump is doing exactly what he and his administration need to do in defusing the missile strike threat from North Korea. When things reached a peak last week, we asked who will blink first as the saber-rattling ratcheted up. Kim Jong-Un blinked first, and very wisely so. Appointing ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as the Secretary of Defense was an excellent choice.
The Pentagon chief told reporters during a half-hour media availability that the Defense Department can determine where an airborne missile is headed ‘within moments’ of a launch.
And if a missile from dictator Kim Jong-Un is seen as threatening Guam, a tiny U.S. Pacific island 2,100 miles from Pyongyang, ‘then it’s game on,’ Mattis declared, ‘and we will try and do our best to make sure it does not hit the United States.’
‘We will defend the country from any attack at any time from any quarter,’ he said.
Sec. Mattis: If North Korea fires at the US, it’s ‘game on’
North Korea’s state-controlled media reported last week on preparations for test firing four missiles, saying they would be aimed in the direction of Guam but splash down before reaching it.
President Donald Trump pledged to meet new saber rattling from the communist country with ‘fire and fury.’
‘If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about an attack – of anybody that we love or we represent, or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous,’ Trump warned on Thursday.
‘And they should be, because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.’
‘North Korea better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble,’ the president said.
On Friday he tweeted that ‘military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded.’
‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general, wouldn’t say on Monday whether the U.S. would respond militarily to a missile launch in Guam’s direction that appeared to intentionally miss the target.
‘If it falls short of Guam, then it becomes an issue that we take up however the president chooses,’ he said.
‘You can’t make all the decisions in advance. There are a host of things going on,’ he added. ‘I need a certain amount of ambiguity on this because I am not going to tell them what I’ll do in each case.’
But Mattis insisted the U.S. military stands ready to fight a belligerent North Korea if the president decides to engage.
‘The bottom line is we will defend the country, and for us that’s war,’ he explained.
‘You don’t shoot at people in this world unless you bear the consequences.’ source