Trump planning show of force on Korean Peninsula

Trump planning show of force on Korean Peninsula

The United States will defeat any attack on the homeland or on its allies and will meet any use of nuclear weapons with an effective and overwhelming response, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today in Seoul.

-South Korea alliance could reasonably be expected to win a war on the Korean peninsula, which would have massive political repercussions throughout the region, including China. Unless they are properly addressed, the inherent complexities of these partnerships could undermine them, preventing the United States and its allies from mounting a concerted response to long-term strategic threats such as China or North Korea.

U.S. secretary of defence Jim Mattis has warned North Korea that any nuclear attack on the United States or its allies would be met with an "overwhelming" response.

And he said Mattis's visit and support sends a clear message.

Absent from Mattis's agenda was a visit to Beijing, in many respects the regional power broker, and at odds with Japan and South Korea on a number of issues.

In response to the continued missile and nuclear tests from the Kim regime, the US and South Korea have developed the USA missile defense system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), which is expected to be deployed in South Korea later this year.

While in Japan, Mattis will meet with his Japanese counterpart and pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will head to Washington for a meeting with Trump on February 10.

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But it seems that fires are starting faster than Mattis, or other USA officials, can them put out.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from Seoul, said: "There is a great deal of focus as to potential change in U.S. policy towards North Korea and towards the alliance here in South Korea as well". The trip is an important indicator that North Korea's nuclear and missile priorities have emerged near the top of the USA national security agenda, a welcome sign for both countries.

At the outset of the meeting, Mattis told Abe that "we stand firmly, 100 percent for" the alliance with Japan in light of the military threat from North Korea.

According to the statement, North Korea believes Seoul "continues to blindly pursue its pro-American course and is incapable of correctly assessing the quickly changing situation in the region".

Former U.S. officials and other experts have said the United States essentially has two options when it comes to trying to curb North Korea's fast-expanding nuclear and missile programs - negotiate or take military action.

Japan controls the islands, which it calls the Senkakus, but both China and Taiwan lay claim to them.