Speaking to Congress this week, Defense Secretary James Mattis was asked by Rep. Tim Ryan (D – OH) why the United States doesn’t just launch an immediate war to “take out” North Korea before they have the capability of hitting the United States.
While a lot of Trump Administration officials talk up the idea of a war with North Korea as something they’re eagerly anticipating, Mattis was a lot more realistic, insisting it is a “war that fundamentally we don’t want,” and that it would be the most serious US war with the most serious consequences since 1953.
Mattis went on to warn that a war with North Korea would involve massive shelling of Seoul, South Korea, oneof the most densely packed cities on earth, and that while he believes the US would ultimately win the war, they’d only do so “at great cost.”
At the same time, Mattis didn’t attempt to rule out the possibility of the US attacking North Korea and starting this disastrous war, but rather said that the US was in the process of “exhausting all possible diplomatic efforts” first. This stands in stark contrast to President Trump’s own position on North Korea, as he has been very critical of the concept of diplomacy with the north at all, insisting that diplomacy had already been tried and failed.