US secretary of defence Jim Mattis has warned North Korea that any nuclear attack on the United States or its allies would be met with an "overwhelming" response.
"North Korea continues to launch missiles, develop its nuclear weapons programme and engage in threatening rhetoric and behaviour," said Mattis on 3 February in South Korea during his first overseas trip since being sworn in as US defence secretary.
"America's commitments to defending our allies and to upholding our extended deterrence guarantees remain ironclad: 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," Mattis said during a press briefing with his South Korean counterpart, Han Min-koo.
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