WASHINGTON, D.C. — The threat of a nuclear strike upon the U.S. by North Korea has grown to a “critical and imminent level” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera warned U.S. officials during a talk session on Monday.
Onodera’s remarks came as he met with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-Moo at a gathering of Asian defense chiefs in the Philippines.
“(The) threat posed by North Korea has grown to the unprecedented, critical and imminent level. Therefore, we have to take calibrated and different responses to meet with that level of threat,” said Onodera, speaking through a translator.
South Korea’s Song echoed Onodera’s comments, stating “North Korea’s provocative behavior is becoming worse and worse.”
The sense of urgency were in response to Mattis’s recent remarks in which he said the U.S. would continue to seek out diplomatic efforts in an effort to avoid war.
Meanwhile, as reported by The New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/opinion/sunday/jimmy-carter-lusts-trump-posting.html), former president Jimmy Carter has offered to travel to North Korea to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an effort to defuse escalating tensions.
“I would go, yes,” Carter told the Times of making the trip to North Korea.
“I’m afraid, too, of a situation,” he said of “unpredictable Kim Jong-un . “I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China,” he said of China’s promise to help cool North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
“I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” he said of President Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.
In an interview with Fox Business Network on Sunday, President Trump warned North Korea to tread carefully as the U.S. was “so prepared, like you wouldn’t believe” for a showdown with Pyongyang.
“You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be,” Trump said. “Would it be nice not to do that? The answer is yes. Will that happen? Who knows, who knows.”
Kim has publicly called out Trump on many occasions as “mentally deranged.”