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Mattis warns North Korea to cease 'actions' that could lead to 'the end of its regime'

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a stark warning to North Korea, redrawing the red line at any potential nuclear action, rather than just the threat of it. Mattis advised North Korea to "stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons" and "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

"The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates," Mattis said, making clear that while "diplomatic means" are preferable, the State Department has "the most precise, rehearsed, and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth" at hand. Mattis also noted that President Trump, who on Tuesday threatened to meet any further North Korean nuclear activity with "fire and fury," has "emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces" since taking office.

Read Mattis' statement in full below. Becca Stanek