Mullen: North Korea ‘Very Real’ Threat

Insists US Has 'Sense of Urgency' to Foil North Korean 'Provocations'

Speaking today in Seoul, South Korea, Admiral Michael Mullen declared North Korea a ‘very real threat’ to peace, and pressed for China to move into a “leadership role” against the North Korean government.

“North Korea shows no signs of relenting in pursuit of its nuclear capabilities,” insisted Mullen, who was visiting as Gen. James Thurman took over command of the 28,500 US troops in South Korea.

Mullen went on to declare that the US and South Korea share a “sense of urgency” regarding North Korea, even though no major incidents have been reported in upwards of a year, and said it was vital to foil future “provocations” they assumed were coming.

This sense of urgency appeared to be absent in January, when North Korea’s government called for unconditional reconciliation talks. South Korea responded by declaring the talks weren’t worth responding to. US officials likewise refused to consider talks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.