Mattis says US committed to diplomatic resolution but combined allied militaries ready to act

Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday issued a strong warning to North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions or risk the end of its regime.

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"The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down in its pursuit of nuclear weapons," Mattis said in a statement, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name.

"The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people," he said.

Mattis' comments come one day after President Donald Trump promised an unprecedented military response should Pyongyang continue to threaten the U.S.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," Trump said.

The comments follow a series of media reports that claim U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed North Korea is able to miniaturize a nuclear warhead capable of being placed on a ballistic missile.

Mattis said the U.S. is committed to a diplomatic resolution to the conflict but “the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth”.

He also warned North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to pay attention to the UN Security Council's “voice” and statements from governments that agree his regime poses a threat to global security and stability.

"The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and it would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates," he added.

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