US defense chief warns North Korea that it risks the 'destruction of its people'

The Guardian: The US defense secretary, James Mattis, has warned the North Korean regime that it risked the “end of its regime and the destruction of its people” if it attacked Washington or its allies, as an eruption of brinksmanship from both sides rattled the region.

Mattis’s Wednesday reminder to Pyongyang that the allied militaries “possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth”, capped an unprecedented 24 hours of sabre-rattling sparked by Donald Trump’s surprise threat to rain “fire and fury” down on the Pyongyang regime.

Despite the harsh rhetoric, there was no change in US military deployments or alert status. The defense secretary, however, couched his remarks in the language of traditional deterrence, making clear that such overwhelming force would be used in the event of a North Korean attack.

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