“Put yourself in President Trump’s shoes”, he said. But if the US military is preparing for a major conflict, there is little evidence of it. The move was condemned by United States, South Korea and Japan. Annual U.S. -South Korea military exercises begin August 21 but are conducted primarily with forces already in place.
“My portfolio, my mission, my responsibility is to have military options if you need it”, Mattis responded. “However, right now, Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson, Ambassador [to the U.N. Nikki] Haley, you can see the American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results”.
The Pentagon chief on Wednesday issued a carefully worded statement telling North Korea it would be “grossly” outmatched in any conflict with the United States, and warning Pyongyang to stop considering any action that risked “the destruction of its people”. He said that while the U.S. is pursuing diplomatic solutions, the combined military power of America and its allies is the most robust on Earth.
Pollack says they are intended “to deter the North from any kind of potential actions”.
“The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.in tackling this threat and many others”.
But it also said that if the USA and South Korea took a first strike against North Korea, China should intervene.
“That would be the clearest indication that we were headed toward war”, Pollack says. “The whole of the Security Council has come together behind that, and I think that we should see the President’s public comments as one of the strands, one of the many strands of USA activity”.
Diplomats from each country, including USA envoy to North Korea Joseph Yun and North Korean diplomat Pak Song Il are maintaining a relationship with each other in NY, fostered as well by outside groups that favor direct engagement.