US threatens North Korea with 'overwhelming' retaliation if it uses nuclear arms

US threatens North Korea with 'overwhelming' retaliation if it uses nuclear arms
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Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday threatened North Korea with an "effective and overwhelming" retaliation if the country decided to utilize its nuclear arsenal.

According to Reuters, Mattis issued the warning during his two-day visit to South Korea, where he sought to reassure U.S. allies in the region that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE's administration is fully committed to their security.

"Any attack on the United States, or our allies, will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming," the Defense secretary said.

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"North Korea continues to launch missiles, develop its nuclear weapons program and engage in threatening rhetoric and behavior," Mattis added.

Pyongyang's nuclear program has advanced rapidly in the the last few years, forcing the U.S. to make plans for a missile defense project in South Korea.
Both China and Russia, however, have stated their opposition to such a move.
 
According to Reuters, the South Korean defense minister reaffirmed plans to deploy the system — known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense — later this year. 
 
And he said Mattis's visit and support sends a clear message. 
 
"Faced with a current severe security situation, Secretary Mattis' visit to Korea ... also communicates the strongest warning to North Korea," Defense Minister Han Min-koo said.