Mattis: Army 'must stand ready' in face of North Korean threat

Mattis: Army 'must stand ready' in face of North Korean threat

Following a speech Monday to the Association of the United States Army, Defense Secretary James Mattis said the military is must "stand ready" if called upon by President Donald Trump to go to war.

"The US Army must be ready for a military option to resolve the North Korean crisis that our president might use when it is needed", he said.

He emphasized that now, Washington resorts to diplomacy, adding that the UN Security Council twice in a row voted unanimously in favor of imposing stronger sanctions on Pyongyang over its ballistic and nuclear missile launches.

And while the Army chief made it clear that the military is ready to act, he said there are no "risk-free options".

The defense secretary's comments come as President Trump in tweets over the weekend and on Monday bemoaned diplomatic efforts by previous presidential administrations that tried to curtail North Korea's weapons programs.

"A full-blown war on the Korean Peninsula will be horrific by any stretch of the imagination", Milley said to reporters on the sidelines of the same meeting, but added that a missile striking Los Angeles or NY would be "equally terrible".

"It would be awful, there's no question about it, but so would an intercontinental ballistic missile striking Los Angeles or New York City. That would be equally disgusting", Milley said, according to CNN.

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"This is extraordinarily hard, extraordinarily risky".

The decision to take military action against North Korea lies with "elected representatives", he said.

"What does the future hold?"

Trump did not clarify what that "one thing" was.

"It's not an indefinite amount of time".

Similarly, Trump sent tweets on Saturday claiming North Korea had been making "fools of USA negotiators" for years, adding that "only one thing will work" in terms of confronting Pyongyang. Neither you nor I can say, so there is one thing the U.S. Army can do.

"Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing". The US already has a massive Navy, especially compared to North Korea, and such a war is likely to nearly immediately boil down to massive mortar and missile fire back and forth, including potential nuclear exchanges.

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