Mattis: North Korea Military Solution Would Be ‘Tragic on an Unbelievable Scale’

Insists US Still Seeks 'Diplomatic' Solution

While most of the Trump Administration continues to downplay even attempts at diplomacy with North Korea as destined to fail, Defense Secretary James Mattis talked up the idea of diplomacy in his own comments today, warning that imposing a “military solution” on North Korea would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.”

That appears to run contrary to what most officials have been saying in recent months, talking up the ability of US forces to quickly overwhelm North Korea and downplaying their substantial retaliatory capabilities. Mattis appears to be acknowledging something most of the administration desperately wants to avoid.

That’s that even without a deliverable nuclear weapon, North Korea’s massive arsenal of artillery, on top of substantial conventional missiles, is capable of delivering a calamitous amount of damage to South Korea, including US military forces there, and wiping out large chunks of the capital city of Seoul.

This reality is one many, particularly the administration figures without military backgrounds, appear willing to ignore, as they continue to present North Korea as something that needs to be “solved,” by hook or by crook. Since they’re loathe to even enter discussions with North Korea, slowly but surely they are heading toward attacking North Korea outright.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of