Sec. James Mattis: Reports Suggesting He Disagrees with Trump Are 'Ludicrous'

Posted September 05, 2017

On Tuesday, North Korea provoked worldwide alarm after it fired a mid-range missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The status of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs would be a contentious issue in any negotiations, but such a discussion would be essential in reaching an understanding with Pyongyang.

Many believe the North's young dynastic ruler Kim Jong-un is seeking to strengthen internal unity and consolidate power through provocations and menacing rhetoric, and tout his courageous leadership enough to take on the world's greatest power, the U.S.

On Thursday, its official news agency, KCNA, denounced the military drills in traditionally robust fashion, calling them "the rash act of those taken aback" by the missile test, which it described as "the first military operation in the Pacific".

Tuesday's events killed such optimism. The mission, which was not part of the U.S.

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Her comments came as Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters yesterday that Japan and the United States would seek fresh sanctions to stop the North's missile and nuclear tests. This time, the response included a military exercise using real ammunition. The two countries have proposed that diplomatic talks resume while missile tests in North Korea and joint military exercises by the USA and South Korea both be put on pause.

"We continue to work together, and the minister and I share a responsibility to provide for the protection of our nations, our populations and our interests", he said. -South Korea war games as rehearsals for an invasion, and Washington and Seoul faced calls to postpone or downsize this year's drills to ease tensions.

The problem here is that Washington won't be very interested in displaying the kind of "demeanor" that North Korea is likely to want.

This is unlikely to affect North Korea, says Joel S. Wit, a senior fellow at the U.S. -Korea Institute at SAIS and senior research fellow at the Columbia University Weatherhead Institute for East Asian Studies.

But Hwang Ildo, a professor at Seoul's Korea National Diplomatic Academy, disagrees, saying North Korea probably won't risk infuriating the United States.

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Constant North Korean provocations do not seriously disturb Seoul-based foreigners like Matthew Crawford either.

Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said in a statement that the F-35 contributes to the overall security and stability of the region and embodies a commitment to U.S. allies.

This photo, taken on August 2, 2017, shows citizens visiting Imjingak in the South Korean border city of Paju near the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.

Mattis said the firing of North Korean ballistic missile that flew over northern Japan, was reckless.

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