James Mattis says overwhelming force would be used in the event of a North Korean attack on Washington or its allies, following Trump’s threats
- Analysis: how likely is war?
- Explainer: where is Guam and why is North Korea threatening it?
- Explainer: what is the US military’s presence near North Korea?
The US defense secretary, James Mattis, has warned the North Korean regime that it risked the “end of its regime and the destruction of its people” if it attacked Washington or its allies, as an eruption of brinksmanship from both sides rattled the region.
Mattis’s Wednesday reminder to Pyongyang that the allied militaries “possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth”, capped an unprecedented 24 hours of sabre-rattling sparked by Donald Trump’s surprise threat to rain “fire and fury” down on the Pyongyang regime.
North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests since 2006, so it unquestionably has the capacity to create some form of nuclear bomb.
Guam, a 210 sq mile sovereign US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, is used by America as a strategic military base. Almost a third of its land is controlled by the US military and about 6,000 American troops are based there.
Link : US defense chief warns North Korea that it risks the ‘destruction of its people’