A war with North Korea would be “catastrophic,” Defense Secretary and retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis told CBS, as the reclusive country tested yet another missile.
“A conflict in North Korea, John, would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes,” Mattis told host John Dickerson on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Why do I say this? The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea.”
Still, Mattis regards North Korea as a menace to America. Mattis called North Korea a threat to its neighbors, including close U.S. allies Japan and South Korea.
“It is a direct threat to the United States,” Mattis said of North Korea. “They have been very clear in their rhetoric — we don’t have to wait until they have an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear weapon on it to say that now it’s manifested completely.”
Mattis continued, “This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea. And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia, as well. But the bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.”
North Koreans on Monday tested its ninth missile of the year. The SCUD or R-11, is a short-range ballistic missile developed in Russia during the Cold War. North Korea has around four variations of the SCUD.
The country’s official news service, KCNA, reported that after the test, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un said the missile tests would continue, with the goal of destroying the U.S.
“He expressed the conviction that it would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send a bigger ‘gift package’ to the Yankees,” the KCNA story said.
The missile tested Monday traveled for around 280 miles before falling into the ocean.
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