The US secretary of defense, James Mattis, has given a stern warning to Pyongyang that confrontation with the United States may be imminent. He said that clouds of a storm were gathering over the Korean peninsula while in a meeting with diplomats trying to resolve the standoff regarding Kim’s ballistic nuclear missile program. In a statement to the US military, the defense secretary said that the United States must prepare for the eventuality of a conflict between Washington and Pyongyang.
Mattis said that diplomacy was the best chance that would stop a military conflict between the two countries. He also added that the US had to do its duty of defending its citizens by preparing for war. He told Marines at one of the bases that the only way that diplomacy would work, if it was backed by a military force that was ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. Mattis made that statement at the Hall of heroes at the 82nd Airborne Division to a group of airmen and soldiers.
Mattis was on a holiday tour to military bases for two days to greet and encourage American troops to be combat ready. The statement by the secretary of defense came just days after the UN had unanimously passed a resolution for a stringent embargo against North Korea. The strict sanctions would compel member states to sharply reduce their exports to Pyongyang regarding oil and other critical materials that were used to finance the missile program.
UN member states were also required to deport all the expatriates that worked in their jurisdictions back to North Korea and were given a stipulated deadline of two years. Such expatriates have been viewed as a significant source of revenue to the totalitarian regime. Repeated threats regarding the use of the military have been issued by the US President and other senior members of his administration. The embargo has been seen by analysts to be twofold in its purpose.
The sanctions are intended to deprive North Korea of the basics to run a country and force Kim into negotiations that would eventually force him to abandon his ballistic nuclear missile program. The embargo is also intended to offer motivation to the superpowers in the region such as Moscow and Beijing to exert more pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear program so that war could be prevented. For the US military, their call has been ensuring that their troops are combat ready when the time to go to war comes.