In the aftermath of Monday’s long-range ballistic missile test conducted by North Korea, all eyes have been on President Donald Trump’s administration, with many fearing that Kim’s latest launch and accompanying bluster could be a significant step toward the onset of war. China and Russia have publicly called for restraint while criticizing American defensive emplacements in South Korea as “provocations,” prompting further concern that a conflict with North Korea could rapidly escalate into a world war.
While the long-term potential for such a global conflict exists, James Mattis, Secretary of Defense under President Trump, made it clear on Thursday that the diplomatic effort with North Korea remains ongoing, and the United States is in no hurry to conduct military operations against Kim’s North Korean regime.
“The United States military stands ready to provide options to President Donald J. Trump, but diplomatic and economic efforts remain the tools of choice to convince North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile programs,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
President Trump has also clearly stated that there is no current plan to execute military strikes against targets within North Korea’s borders, but made a point to clarify that the United States has a number of options he’s actively considering.