AMERICA’S defence secretary has warned North Korea it will be met with a “massive military response” if it nukes the USA or its allies.
James Mattis, nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’, was speaking after holding talks with his South Korea counterpart Song Young-moo today.
The Pentagon chief pointed out the North has accelerated its threats with “unnecessary” nuclear and missile programmes.
He said Pyonyang’s military will be overmatched by the allied force’s combined defensive strength, reported the Yonhap News Agency.
“Make no mistake – any attack on the United States, or our allies, will be defeated,” he said.
“Any use of nuclear weapons will be met with a massive military response.”
He added: “North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbours and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs.”
He accused the North of behaviour similar to “outlaws” and that the American relationship with Seoul had taken on a “new urgency”.
He was in the South Korea capital for annual defence talks between the two allies.
US President Donald Trump is set to visit the country next month as part of a foreign trip to Asia.
The comments by Mattis come a month after the North carried out its sixth nuclear test which was the biggest it had tried to date.
The nuclear bomb was estimated to be 50 kilotonnes – three times more powerful than the device which destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Last night the North released a South Korean fishing boat who it said had strayed into their territorial waters illegally.
South Korean officials said the 10 man crew were released on Friday evening.