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Mattis urges military 'to be ready' with options on North Korea

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday urged military leaders "to be ready" with military options for President Donald Trump to deal with North Korea should diplomacy fail --




POLITICO:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday urged military leaders "to be ready" with military options for President Donald Trump to deal with North Korea should diplomacy fail -- after Trump reprimanded his top brass last week for not providing him contingency plans quickly enough.

"Right now it is a diplomatically led, economic sanctions-buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off this path,” Mattis said following a speech at the annual convention of the Association of the United States Army in Washington. “Now, what does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say, so there’s one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is we have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed.”

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On Thursday, Trump told Mattis and his top generals in a White House meeting that he wanted military options at a “much faster pace.” The president subsequently suggested to reporters that “maybe it’s the calm before the storm," sparking widespread speculation that the cryptic reference was to Korea war plans.

Before Mattis' remarks Monday, Trump tweeted, “Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn't work!”

However, Mattis, speaking to audience of soldiers of all ranks and defense industry executives, highlighted the continuing diplomatic focus of the international community to turn back North Korea's outlawed missile and nuclear programs.

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