North Korea’s “reckless” actions in regards to its nuclear weapons and missile programs “has got to be stopped,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference in London, Mattis raised the North Korea issue in response to a reporter’s question about Iran. He suggested that North Korea is a more urgent problem.
“This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability, and we will be working with the international community to address this,” he said. “We are working diplomatically, including with those that we might be able to enlist in this effort to get North Korea under control. But right now it appears to be going in a very reckless manner.”
“That’s got to be stopped,” he concluded.
The reporter noted that Mattis, as head of U.S. Central Command in 2012, had said Iran was the main threat facing the United States. In responding, Mattis quickly pivoted to North Korea, which has rattled Washington with threats to attack the U.S. with nuclear missiles.