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Smart Chart: Tracking North Korea's Missile Program

22 Septembre 2017

During the speech, he also referred to Kim Jong-un's regime in North Korea as "depraved", and called the leader "rocket man".

September 20, 2017 (EIRNS)-During brief remarks at the Pentagon on September 18, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in response to a question, claimed that there are military options available against North Korea that would not result in mass casualties from North Korea artillery bombardment of Seoul, but he declined to elaborate.

"We are dealing with the North Korea situation through the worldwide process and we will continue to do so".

He also said, without elaboration, that the Trump administration has military options against North Korea that would not put Seoul at risk.

"The bottom line is that in the missiles, were they to be a threat, whether it be the USA territory Guam, obviously Japan, Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said.

Mattis also confirmed that the United States and Seoul had discussed the option of sending limited-size "tactical" nuclear weapons to South Korea.

It also has threatened to launch missiles close to the coast of Guam, a US island territory in the Pacific.

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"No. 1, those missiles are not directly threatening any of us", he said.

Last week, North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 20 minutes after the launch.

Since 2012, the number and frequency of North Korea's missile tests have increased. It was the country's longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile.

With two North Korean missiles recently launched over northern Japan, one senior defense official says that consideration remains very real.

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air interceptors are created to shoot down ballistic missiles before they land and are there to back up Japan's sea-based Standard Missile-3 systems if they fail to intercept their targets in outer space.

Mattis made clear in his remarks on Monday that the US and Japan are prepared for future missile threats.

Smart Chart: Tracking North Korea's Missile Program