WASHINGTON: The US has warned North Korea that it was prepared to meet any eventuality and will take “immediate specific actions” if Pyongyang launches a missile attack against it or its allies.
The US’ strong assertion comes days after President Donald Trump pledged to answer further aggression from North Korea with “fire and fury”.
Speaking at a news conference jointly addressed by US Defence Secretary James Mattis, Japanese Foreign minister Taro Kono and Defence minister Itsunori Onodera, Tillerson said the country was prepared to meet any eventuality from the North Koreans, and sought to make it clear that use of the force was not the “preferred pathway” of the US.
“We are prepared, we are prepared militarily, we are prepared with our allies to respond, if that is necessary.
That (military) is not our preferred pathway. That’s been made clear as well,” he said.
Defence Secretary Mattis said that the US would take immediate specific actions in the event of a missile launch towards US or its allies.
“In the event of a missile launch towards the territory of Japan, Guam, the United States, Korea (South Korea), we would take immediate specific actions to take it down,” Mattis said.
Tillerson said the North Korean regime should engage in diplomatic talks to bring better results, unlike in the past.
Observing that Japan and South Korea are on the front line against the North Korean threat, Mattis said the US recognises that any confrontation with North Korea would pose an immediate danger to its allies and their populations.
He said that the path of provocations and threats chosen by North Korea was not in the best interests of any nation.
“We call on North Korea to choose a better path than one of provocations and threats. Such a path is not in its own best interests nor in the best interests of any other nation,” the Defence Secretary said.