Pentagon chief issues stark warning to North Korea

North Korean government on Saturday July 29 shows what was said to be the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is issuing his own sharp threat to North Korea, saying the regime should cease any consideration of actions that would "lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

Britain's UN ambassador said the United Kingdom "stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States" in tackling the nuclear threat from North Korea and making sure it can not pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

"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.

"The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates", he added.

North Korean said it was considering plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, after Trump on Tuesday said any North Korean threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

If Kim Jong Un won't listen to President Trump, the Mad Dog could make him heel.

For the moment, U.S military officials sought to play down the potential for military conflict.

"Just because the rhetoric goes up, doesn't mean our posture changes", one official said.

On Wednesday Trump tweeted the USA nuclear arsenal was "stronger and more powerful than ever before" but he hoped it never needed to be used.

These are some of strongest comments Mattis has made on North Korea.

Mattis' words are a steadfast declaration of the overwhelming military might of the United States and its allies, though he does offer a few more nods towards diplomacy as a solution to what increasingly looks like a bona fide geopolitical crisis. They evoked President Harry Truman's announcement of the United States atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, in which he warned of "a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth". Critics included fellow Republican John McCain, head of the Armed Forces Committee in the U.S. Senate, who said Trump should tread cautiously. Democratic leaders criticised Trump for his statement on North Korea.

The warning came soon after The Washington Post reported the North has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit atop its missiles.

A new report says Pyongyang's nuclear programme is progressing.

Tens of thousands of USA troops remain stationed in South Korea and in nearby Japan, the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons.



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