Hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that “talking is not the answer” in regard to the increasingly tense situation with North Korea, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis emphasized diplomacy as the path forward.
“We’re never out of diplomatic solutions,” he told reporters Wednesday while greeting South Korea’s defense minister, Song Young-moo, at the Pentagon.
“We continue to work together, and the minister and I share responsibility to provide for the protection of our nation, our populations and our interests, which is what we are here to discuss today,” he said.
Trump had taken to Twitter less than three hours earlier to respond to North Korea’s latest missile test, which flew over northern Japan on Monday, and to subsequent threats from the isolated nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
“The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
The statement raised questions about what the president meant, if diplomacy was not the way forward. Trump’s Cabinet members, including Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have repeatedly advocated for dialogue to ease tensions with the defiant country.
North Korean state media quoted Kim saying that Monday’s test of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile was “the first step of the military operation” to target Guam, a U.S. territory that’s home to U.S. Navy and Air Force bases.
North Korea has fired 21 missiles during 14 tests since February, including three on Saturday, with many landing in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, a wide area of ocean separating the two countries.
Last month, North Korea successfully test launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles — weapons in theory capable of striking the U.S. mainland, including California.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)
White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army
A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.