Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
North Korea Stands Down On Threat To Guam
North Korea’s autocratic ruler has decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam, Pyongyang’s state media reported Tuesday, easing the immediate threat of an attack on the U.S. territory in the western Pacific.
The North Korean statement said Kim Jong Un could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”
The announcement appeared shortly after Defense Secretary James N. Mattis warned that an attack could quickly escalate to war, although it’s unclear if they were linked.
People watch a North Korea's KRT television show a photo of North Korea's test-launched first intercontinental ballistic missile released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) at the Seoul Railway Station on July 4, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea.Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
“If they fire at the United States it could escalate into war very quickly,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. “That’s called war, if they shoot at us. … You don’t shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences.”
Mattis cited a classic Hollywood political satire about nuclear war to say he wasn’t drawing red lines or making idle threats to spark a confrontation.
“It’s not declaring war — it’s not that I’m over here, Dr. Strangelove, doing things like that,” he said.
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last month for the first time, and U.S. intelligence agencies assess that Pyongyang can build a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop a long-range missile, although it’s not clear if it can target U.S. cities.
The latest missile tests led to a sharp rise in tensions. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to add new sanctions on North Korea, and President Donald Trump warned he would unleash “fire and fury” if Pyongyang continued its threats.
In response, North Korea said Kim was reviewing a plan to fire four midrange missiles over Japan and into international waters at least 20 miles off Guam, where the U.S. military operates several major bases.
Mattis was ambiguous as to how Washington would respond if Pyongyang launched a missile toward Guam as a show of force, and it landed far offshore.
“War is up to the president, and perhaps up to Congress,” Mattis said. “The bottom line is we will defend the country from attack.”
The U.S. military would be able to determine if a North Korean missile is headed toward Guam “within moments,” he said, because of spy satellites, radars and other high-tech sensors that track missile launches.
File photo taken in October 2015 shows a large missile believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile in a military parade at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. U.S. Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis said on Jan. 12, 2017 that North Korea's plans to test-fire an ICBM pose a "serious threat" to the United States, vowing to work closely with Japan and South Korea to counter Pyongyang's weapons programs.Photo via AP images
If necessary, “we’ll take it out,” Mattis said, suggesting the U.S. military would attempt to shoot it down with anti-missile interceptors on land and ships.
Earlier, Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to defuse tensions in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that said the Trump administration did not seek “regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea,” issues of special concern to China, which supports Pyongyang.
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived late Monday in Beijing to meet with Chinese military leaders. Earlier, he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Osan Air Base, a U.S. Air Force base about 40 miles south of Seoul.
Dunford said in Beijing that his goal was to “continue to develop our military-to-military relationships, to mitigate the risk of miscalculation in the region and to have cooperation where those opportunities exist,” according to a Pentagon statement.
©2017 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.
The day of the Army is upon us.
The comes just a couple of months after Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley was officially nominated to take over as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
An defense official familiar with the matter confirmed to Task & Purpose that Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy will "more than likely" become Acting Army Secretary — his second time in that position.
As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004.
All Medal of Honor recipients receive a pension starting on the date they formally receive the Medal of Honor, which is currently $1,329.58 per month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for a retroactive payment for monthly stipends that technically took effect on the "date of heroism," said Gina Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A unit of UK infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty plc falsified housing maintenance records at a major U.S. military base to help it maximize fees earned from the Department of Defense, a Reuters investigation found.
At Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company's U.S.-based unit used a second set of books and altered records to make it appear responsive to maintenance requests, Reuters found in a review of company and Air Force emails, internal memos and other documents, as well as interviews with former workers.
National Guard soldier tied to hate group won't be kicked out since 'prohibited activity' occurred before he joined
The Minnesota National Guard will not expel a 19-year-old Chaska man with ties to a nationwide white supremacist organization, following an investigation into his online activities before he enlisted.
However, the Guard said the man will remain under close supervision.