|US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis|
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2017 — The United States and its allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend themselves from an attack, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today in a statement.
"Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree [North Korea] poses a threat to global security and stability," he said.
North Korea must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons, Mattis said, and should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.
President Donald J. Trump was informed of the growing threat last December, the defense secretary said, "and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces."
"While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth," Mattis said. North Korea will continue to be grossly overmatched by the U.S. and its allies, he said "and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates."