Speed Reads

North Korea

Mattis says 'outlaw' North Korea threat has 'accelerated'

Secretary of Defense James Mattis offered a grim assessment of U.S.-North Korean relations while speaking in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday in a visit in advance of President Trump's early November Asia tour.

Accusing the Kim Jong Un regime of "outlaw" behavior, Mattis said "North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs," adding that he "cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power."

Mattis emphasized his preference for diplomacy to resolve nuclear tensions, though critics argue absolute rejection of Pyongyang as a nuclear power make negotiations difficult to begin.