Mattis Warns the U.S. Will Never Accept a Nuclear North Korea
The U.S. defense secretary says the U.S. will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.
Jim Mattis said Saturday in Seoul that the North's aggressive nuclear and missile development programs are undermining the isolated nation's security instead of securing it.
Mattis warned the North that its military is no match for the military might of the U.S. and South Korea alliance.
"Make no mistake," Mattis said, "any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming."
The secretary said once again as he has said all week on his Asian trip that diplomacy is the preferred way of dealing with North Korea.
Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held annual consultations with South Korean defense officials Saturday, marking the first time the Security Consultative Meeting has been held since the inauguration of South Korea President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump.
On Friday, Mattis met with President Moon and spoke to U.S. and South Korean troops at the Panmunjom "truce village" where South Korea meets North Korea.
The secretary's Asian trip has included stops in Thailand and the Philippines.
US Grand Jury Approves First Charges in Russia Investigation
A U.S. federal grand jury has approved the first charges in an investigation of Russian influence on U.S. elections, a probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Media reports of the filing of the sealed charges came late Friday.
The grand jury's action was first reported by CNN, which quoted sources as saying anyone who is charged could be taken into custody as soon as Monday. The exact charges are unclear.
A spokesman for Mueller's office declined CNN's request for comment.
CNN said lawyers working on Mueller's team were seen entering the federal courtroom in Washington, D.C., on Friday, where the grand jury meets to hear testimony.
Mueller has kept a tight lid on information about the probe.
Mueller was appointed special counsel in May, shortly after the firing of then-FBI director James Comey, to look into allegations that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia to win the election. He is also examining the possibility that the president may have tried to interfere with the Russia investigation.
The probe is also examining possible financial ties between Russian businesses and members of the Trump campaign, and foreign lobbying conducted by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
In addition to Mueller's probe, three congressional committees are conducting their own investigations into possible Russian influence on the election.