Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the USA and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week. -North Korea tensions and the weak data that further reduced expectations of a Fed rate hike in December. "Tensions will probably escalate for the time being, given the confrontational personalities of Kim Jong Un and Trump".

"The term "locked and loaded", popularized in the 1949 war film "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring American actor John Wayne, refers to preparations for shooting a gun".

The compounding threats came in a week in which longstanding tensions between the countries risked abruptly boiling over.

Tough talk aside, talks between senior US and North Korean diplomats continue through a back channel previously used to negotiate the return of Americans held in North Korea.

The contacts are being held regularly between Joseph Yun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at Pyongyang's United Nations mission, according to USA officials and others briefed on the process cited by the AP. On Friday, he veered from North Korea to comments on politics.

North Korea said the sanctions infringed on its sovereignty and warned that it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with what it called its strategic nuclear force in response to any US military action.

Britain also praised Trump's stance, with UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft telling reporters that London "stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States" in tackling the nuclear threat from North Korea.

In the wake of this shocking report in the Washington Post on North Korea's nuclear and ICBM program being far more advanced than we previously believed, Foreign Policy published an article by one of the premier nuclear experts in the USA that essentially says the game is over and North Korea has won.

"Unfortunately, the rhetoric in Washington and Pyongyang is now starting to go over the top", Lavrov said. That's where we've been, that's where we are right now. and that's where we hope to remain.

"When you get close to the point of a fight, the one who is stronger and wiser should be the first to step back from the brink", Lavrov said Friday.

Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'

Tension in the region has risen since the reclusive North staged two nuclear bomb tests previous year and launched two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July in defiance of world powers. China accounts for fully 90 per cent of North Korea's trade and has backed harsh UN Security Council sanctions estimated to slash the nation's foreign earnings by a third.

Japan moved missile interceptors into position after the Guam threat, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

US President Donald Trump said he would respond to any threat from North Korea with "fire and fury". "Fight tonight" has long been the motto of USA forces in South Korea to show they are always ready for combat on the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. financial markets took the rhetorical escalation in stride on Friday even as European and Asian markets weakened in a catch-up reaction to Thursday's drop. And I think China will do a lot more. "He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in North Korea", Trump told reporters in New Jersey, without offering specifics.

Stocks tumbled on Thursday after President Donald Trump doubled down on his warlike rhetoric toward North Korea. -South Korean exercises. Officials in Seoul confirmed Friday that the exercises are expected to begin without any delays, but refused to provide further details. The trip has been long planned and the issue of North Korea is likely to be a priority, officials said.

Mr Turnbull knows Australia's interests depend more on China than on the United States in this crisis. Trump again urged China to do more to resolve the situation.

North Korea has said it will develop a plan by next week to launch four intermediate range missiles towards Guam, targeting waters near the USA territory.

Despite outrage in the US with Mr Warmbier's treatment and sharp condemnation by President Trump, the US-North Korean interactions in NY continued.

In his latest bellicose warning, Trump said that his earlier comments vowing to inflict "fire and fury" on the reclusive communist regime for its nuclear weapons development program maybe were not "tough enough".

"A catastrophe is looming", the South's top-selling Chosun daily said in an editorial this week. He said Pyongyang's rhetoric had ratcheted up in the face of worldwide opposition to its nuclear program.

More news: N. Korea nerves push stocks down for third day

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