Washington wants to resolve the North Korea problem without blood shed, but it seems Pyongyang is convinced that the US has another plan.
Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a warning that taking military action against North Korea may result in a conflict that would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale,” and added that the best way is to find a diplomatic solution. North Korea, on the other hand, is concerned that Mattis is intentionally trying to double-cross the US.
North Korea’s national media outlets slammed Mattis, whose nickname is “mad dog” (although he’s apparently not fond of it), as a “rabid dog” and a “warmonger.”
“It is ridiculous, indeed, that such warmonger talked about ‘non-military counteraction’ and ‘diplomatic solution’,” the Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party newspaper said Monday.
The Trump Administration has denounced the Obama-era policy of “strategic patience,” and in response, has been pursuing a plan of “maximum pressure and engagement,” which supposedly involves economic sanctions, military deterrence, and diplomatic pressure in an effort to push Pyongyang to the negotiating table.
The Secretary of Defense has been constantly vouching against war with North Korea.
“We would win at great cost,” Mattis told the House Appropriations Committee in June, answering questions regarding what the renewed conflict with North Korea might look like. “It would be a war that fundamentally we don’t want.”
“A conflict in North Korea would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes,” Mattis said in a statement for CBS News in late May, adding that the war would be “catastrophic.”
North Korean media said the US must note North Korea’s newfound strength, explaining “The US should clearly know that the rival is the nuclear power in the East and the worldwide rocket power.”
“If the US chooses a military option after misjudging a high degree of vigilance and will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK, the former will not escape the bitterest end,” the paper asserted.
The combined military power of the U.S. military and the armed forces of America’s allies is vastly superior to that which North Korea is prepared to field, even with North Korea’s improved combat capabilities and weapons systems.
North Korea’s wartime worldview showcases the struggles of negotiating with the isolated country. A number of US officials have stated that the US goal is not regime change and stressed that the US wants only to denuclearize the peninsula, not to start a conflict.
North Korean leadership sticks to its nuclear weapons and missiles fearing the fate of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, claiming that its pursuit of increasingly-powerful weapons is justified given America’s history.
The United States, however, have tried to convince the North that its pursuit of nuclear and ballistic weaponry in violation of international restrictions threatens the regime’s survival more than anything else.