Mattis: Military action in North Korea would be 'tragic'

U.S. Defense Secretary says Washington is working to find diplomatic solution to North Korea crisis.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

James Mattis
James Mattis

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday warned that any military solution to the North Korea crisis would be "tragic on an unbelievable scale", Reuters reported.

He stressed that Washington was working internationally to find a diplomatic solution.

"We are going to continue to work the issue," Mattis was quoted as having told a Pentagon news conference.

"If this goes to a military solution, it´s going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale. So our effort is to work with the U.N., work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation," he added.

North Korea conducted its latest ballistic missile test on Sunday, and later claimed it had successfully conducted a mid-to-long range missile test, which was aimed at verifying the capability to carry a "large scale heavy nuclear warhead".

The missile, launched on an unusually high trajectory, flew to an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles) and travelled 787 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

Pyongyang has continued its nuclear and ballistic missile tests despite having been sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

Two weeks ago, Pyongyang carried out a ballistic missile test which appeared to have failed.

On April 16, North Korea attempted to launch a missile - but it blew up in the sea. Experts claim they may also have publicly displayed an ICBM during a parade marking the 105th birthday of North Korea's founder.

On Monday, the Security Council condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests, warning it was ready to impose further sanctions on the isolated country.

U.S. President Donald Trump said recently he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances", though the White House later clarified that such a meeting is not on the horizon.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)