After Trump speech, Mattis says North Korea crisis still 'diplomatic effort'

Cheryl Sanders
September 22, 2017

Four more of Japan's 34 PAC-3 units, largely used to defend the capital region, were relocated to southwestern Japan recently after North Korea warned of sending missiles toward the USA territory of Guam.

In Japan, a mobile missile-defense system is moving on the northern island of Hokkaido to a base near recent North Korean missile flyover routes.

This followed Kim's remarks that Trump will "pay dearly" for threatening to destroy North Korea, according to CNN.

Speaking on Monday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that North Korea was seeking to "push the envelope" as far as they could. North Korea has said the tests are meant to develop the capability to hit USA territory with a nuclear weapon.

Analysts say reintroducing nuclear weapons in the South, and deploying them in Japan for the first time, would likely legitimize the North's nuclear arsenal and justify its efforts to develop long-range ballistic missile deterrence. Onodera has said a new security law passed in 2015 might allow it to shoot down a Guam-bound missile if it poses a critical security threat to Japan and its top ally, the United States.

But regional security analysts Grant Newsham with the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo, and Bong Young-shik with the Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul have told VOA there are major risks associated with any of the measures that have been publicly discussed.

Mattis discussed several aspects of the North Korea crisis in an impromptu exchange with reporters at the Pentagon, including the effect of global economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.

North Korea's weapons drive is set to dominate Trump's address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and his meetings with South Korean and Japanese leaders this week.

"The bottom line is that in the missiles, were they to be a threat, whether it be the U.S. territory Guam, obviously Japan, Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said. "That's why we prefer to work with all interested parties, to give them incentives to enter a dialogue", Lavrov said.

Other reports by iNewsToday