Mattis: North Korea Is “Clear And Present Danger”

In recent months, North Korea has aggressively escalated its nuclear missile technologies.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis just addressed the aggression specifically to China, North Korea’s main ally, and suggested China do more to placate regional hostility.

Per Daily Mail:

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis turned up the heat on North Korea and its main benefactor China on Saturday, calling the North Koreans a ‘clear and present danger’ and chastising the Chinese for coercive behavior in the South China Sea.

Mattis believes China will eventually see a nuclear North Korea as too high of a risk:

His sharp words for both countries suggest he believes China will, out of self-interest, exert leverage on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile programs even as Washington pushes Beijing to change course in the South China Sea.

According to Mattis, recklessness from North Korea could prove to be a dangerous proponent of China’s arsenal, even too dangerous for them to manage:

Speaking at an international security conference in Singapore, Mattis said the Trump administration is encouraged by China’s renewed commitment to working with the US and others to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

He also said he thinks China ultimately will see it as a liability rather than an asset.

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Republicans in Congress, such as Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, praises Mattis bold stance and is glad to see the US supporting its Pacific partners:

Mac Thornberry, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told a news conference later that he believed Mattis had effectively stressed the US commitment to allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

‘He was very clear, very strong,’ said Thornberry, who led a bipartisan congressional delegation on an Asia tour and attended Saturday’s Singapore conference.

Overall, Mattis’ speech struck a positive, hopeful tone for cooperation and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, where he and his predecessors have made it a priority to nurture and strengthen alliances and partnerships.