James Mattis
James Mattis Reuters

US Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis issued a harsh warning to North Korea Wednesday, in light of the regime’s continued buildup of its nuclear program and its threats against the US.

“The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Mattis said in a statement. “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

“President Trump was informed of the growing threat last December and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces,” Mattis continued.

“While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth. The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.”

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that North Korea has already developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of being fitted onto an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), placing parts of the US within range of a North Korean nuclear strike.

Following the report, President Trump warned North Korea that America would respond with "fire and fury" if the threats against the US did not stop.

"North Korea had best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening ... and I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before," Trump told reporters during his vacation at his New Jersey golf club Tuesday.

On Wednesday,Trump asserted on his Twitter account: "My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"