Military News

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mattis Describes North Korea Regime as ‘Threat to the Entire World’



By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

The regime of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un remains a danger to the world, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday in Honolulu, while emphasizing diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

The goal remains the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Mattis told reporters at U.S. Pacific Command’s headquarters at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with South Korea Minister of Defense Song Young-moo.

“The Kim regime is a threat to the entire world,” Mattis said. “It’s an international problem that requires an international solution.”

He noted three unanimous United Nations Security Council Resolutions on North Korea.

“Our response to this threat remains diplomacy led, backed up with military options available to ensure that our diplomats are understood to be speaking from a position of strength,” the secretary explained.

U.S.-South Korea ‘Ironclad and Irreplaceable’ Alliance

Mattis and Song reaffirmed the strength of their countries’ alliance and America’s pledge to defend South Korea and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S.-South Korean alliance is “ironclad and irreplaceable,” Mattis said.

“Our combined militaries stand shoulder-to-shoulder ready to defend against any attack” on South Korea or the United States, he said.

Mattis praised South Korea’s “steadfast action upholding United Nations sanctions at sea,” noting South Korea has impounded two ships that were found violating the U.N. Resolutions using ship-to-ship transfer at cargo at sea.

South Korea “leads by example in carrying out the United Nations’ sanctions,” Mattis said, adding North Korea is reminded that “risking its economy to boost its rockets makes it less secure, not more.”

Enduring Pacific Power

Mattis said Song is always welcome at the Pacific Command headquarters in Honolulu. This was the last stop of the secretary’s trip that also took him to Indonesia and Vietnam.

“Here in beautiful Hawaii we’re reminded that America is an enduring Pacific power -- five of our states plus territories all touch on this shared ocean,” he said.

Reckless Rhetoric, Dangerous Provocations

Mattis said the United States and South Korea welcome the Olympic Games talks between North Korea and South Korea, but at the same time, “remain steadfast with the international economic pressure campaign to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.”

The talks for the Olympics, Mattis explained, do not address the overarching problems with North Korea.

“Diplomacy should repose reason on Kim’s reckless rhetoric and dangerous provocations,” he said.

North Korea is sending athletes, including hockey players for a unified South Korea-North Korea team, to the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. The games begin Feb. 9.

ROK-US Defense Ministerial Meeting



U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo met at Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Jan. 26, 2018. The secretary and the minister reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-ROK alliance, and its mission to defend the ROK and to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Secretary Mattis and Minister Song endorsed the continued strengthening of combined U.S.-ROK capabilities to deter and defend against the North Korean threat. They also expressed their commitment to upholding a strong, effective and credible readiness posture to underpin the ongoing diplomatic efforts toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.‎ The two sides discussed the recent Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver as an example of such diplomatic efforts.

Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to the ROK, including its strong extended deterrence commitment, and stressed that any North Korean attack on the United States, its territories or its allies will be met with an effective and overwhelming response.

Secretary Mattis and Minister Song welcomed the resumed inter-Korean dialogue, which has resulted in North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Both sides agreed to closely cooperate to assure a safe and peaceful Winter Olympics. Both sides reaffirmed their mutual objective of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and agreed to closely cooperate with the international community to ensure that the inter-Korea dialogue, resumed on the occasion of the upcoming Olympic games, supports this objective. Moreover, they emphasized that any efforts to drive a wedge in the U.S.-ROK alliance would fail. They also committed to close, continued collaboration aimed at making the DPRK change its behavior and come to the negotiating table to discuss denuclearization.

Minister Song shared the progress made on ROK defense reform to address changes in the security environment, as well as the ROK public demand for reform. Both Minister Song and Secretary Mattis shared their expectation that ROK’s defense reform will contribute to enhancement of comprehensive alliance capabilities and will support alliance agreements to prepare for the transition of operational control (OPCON) of ROK forces. Secretary Mattis and Minister Song recognized that deep shared understanding and close bonds between the two defense leaders are essential for development of the alliance, and agreed to seek as many opportunities of direct communication as conditions allow.

Mattis, South Korean Counterpart Reaffirm Strength of Alliance



Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and South Korea Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance and the mission to defend South Korea and to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula during a bilateral meeting yesterday at U.S. Pacific Command’s headquarters in Honolulu, DoD officials reported in a statement.

Mattis and Song endorsed the continued strengthening of combined U.S.-South Korea capabilities to deter and defend against the North Korean threat, officials said. They also expressed their commitment to upholding a strong, effective and credible readiness posture to underpin the ongoing diplomatic efforts toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.‎

The two officials discussed the recent Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver as an example of such diplomatic efforts, according to officials.

Ironclad Commitment to South Korea

Mattis reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to South Korea, including its strong extended deterrence commitment, officials said.

The secretary stressed that any North Korean attack on the United States, its territories or its allies will be met with an effective and overwhelming response, according to officials.

Mattis and Song welcomed the resumed inter-Korean dialogue, which has resulted in North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, said officials, noting both leaders agreed to closely cooperate to assure a safe and peaceful Winter Olympics.

Mattis and Song reaffirmed their mutual objective of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and agreed to closely cooperate with the international community to ensure that the inter-Korea dialogue, resumed on the occasion of the upcoming Olympic Games, supports this objective, officials said.

Close U.S.-South Korea Collaboration

The two leaders emphasized that any efforts to drive a wedge in the U.S.-South Korea alliance would fail, officials said. Mattis and Song also committed to close, continued collaboration aimed at making North Korea change its behavior and come to the negotiating table to discuss denuclearization, officials added.

Officials said Song shared the progress made on South Korea’s defense reforms to address changes in the security environment.

Mattis and Song shared their expectation that South Korea’s defense reforms will contribute to enhancement of comprehensive alliance capabilities and will support alliance agreements to prepare for the transition of operational control of South Korean forces, officials said.
Mattis and Minister Song recognize that a deep shared understanding and close bonds between them are essential for development of the alliance, and agreed to seek as many opportunities of direct communication as conditions allow, officials said.