Washington’s goal “is not war” as it seeks to ease high military tension with Pyongyang, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Friday, standing at the heavily-fortified border between the two Koreas.
Tension has flared on the Korean peninsula as US President Donald Trump and the North’s rulerKim Jong-Un have traded threats of war and personal insults that sparked global alarm.
Mattis, who visited the tense Demilitarised Zone during a trip to South Korea, criticised the North’s “pursuit of nuclear weapons… in order to threaten others with catastrophe”.
But he maintained that the US was still committed to a “diplomatic solution”.
“As the US Secretary of State Tillerson has made clear, our goal is not war but rather the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” he said in the truce village of Panmunjom.