North Korean missiles lack potential to 'directly threaten American or Japanese territory': Mattis

ANI | Updated: Sep 19, 2017 13:44 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A], September 19 (ANI): United States Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said that America has many military options that will completely remove the threat posed by North Korea and also save Seoul from a brutal counterattack, but Pyongyang missiles lack the potential to 'directly threaten the American or the Japanese territory'.

Mattis warned of a "massive military response" and the potential to carry out "total annihilation" of the rogue state if it threatens to attack the United States and its allies.

"The United States and its allies have not shot down any North Korean missiles because Pyongyang is yet to launch one that directly threatens the American or the Japanese territory," Mattis said .

North Korean missiles have been falling "in the middle of the ocean."

"Were they aimed at Guam, or the U.S. territory, that would elicit a different response," Mattis added.

Mattis declined to say what kind of options he was talking about, whether those options would be "kinetic" - military-speak for lethal force like bombings, airstrikes or ground combat.

"I won't go into detail," he told reporters, at the Pentagon during an unannounced news conference on Monday.

Military analysts believe that if the United States made a pre-emptive strike on the North Korea, first of all first strike would be unlikely to eliminate all of North Korea's conventional and nuclear weapons including chemical or biological ones.

Secondly, 10 million inhabitants in Seoul would be put in Pyongyang's immediate cross hairs for retaliation, which is only 35 miles from the demilitarised zone along the border between North and South Korea, the New York Times reported. (ANI)

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