The Defense Chief has spoken and North Korea better be listening. Fed up with North Korea's aggression and defiance, Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a strong warning to North Korea. He said North Korea is going in a very reckless manner and " has got to be stopped".
Mattis made the comment in a press conference while in London. Such strong words for the reclusive nation is consistent with the tougher stance the whole Trump administration is taking against North Korea. President Trump has been criticizing the country and its leader Kim Jong Un for " behaving very badly". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said earlier this month that diplomatic efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to a point of de-nuclearization have failed.
What options are on the table? A U.S. response to North Korea withouth the help of the Chinese is concerning. Under the regime of Kim Jong Un, North Korea has dramatically increased its missile and nuclear-testing program, creating further tensions with its neighbors who also happen to be close U.S. allies in Asia, South Korea and Japan. Kim has also threatened to develop weapons capable of striking the U.S. and its allies. Three nuclear tests by North Korea were completed under Kim's rule. Kim has also ordered more missile tests over the past four years than in the rest of the country's history. Mattis did not give details about how exactly the U.S. plans to stop North Korea.
Some experts are saying that the Trump administration's options are rather limited. Trump could attempt to impose more sanctions on North Korea. But such moves have not stopped the rogue state from conducting nuclear tests in the past. Tillerson himself was not convinced with just going with the sanctions move. U.S. Army strategist Maj. ML Cavanaugh said that a full scale invasion might not be possible given that it is also extremely difficult to conduct.
A U.S. invasion might also put at risk American allies South Korea and Japan for possible retaliatory missile strikes from an angry North Korea. South Korea's capital, Seoul, with a population of ten million, is just 50 miles from its border with the north. It might also be of interest to the U.S. and its close allies Japan and South Korea to look into a 2010 report that says North Korea has been developing nuclear-tipped torpedoes and sea mines.
It said that the project started in March 2009 and expected to be completed by 2012 was. If true, and five years after its supposed completion, such would form a new type of North Korea's anti-access capability which has in the past only relied on midget submarines and conventional sea mines, as well as land-based anti-ship missiles and coastal batteries. The nuclear torpedo and sea mine of North Korea will be capable of neutralizing Japanese navy bases and American aircraft carriers. It is also predicted that American intervention in case of a peninsular crisis may also be stopped.