Tom Clancy has threatened to sue, but has reconsidered the idea since we all may have to depend on Mattis and the military to deal with the threat.
Mattis also criticized China for heightening tension over the contested islands in the South China Sea, but his words also suggested he believed China would, out of self-interest, put pressure on the rogue nation to stop its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions even as Washington pushes Beijing to change course in the South China Sea.
Mattis addressed attendees at an international security conference in Singapore and said President Trump had positive feelings over China's renewed commitment to working with the U.S. and other nations to rid Kim Jong Un of its nuclear weapons. He added that Beijing would eventually see Kim's regime as a liability, not an asset.
And anyone who goes around killing his family with anti-aircraft cannons is himself a loose cannon.
Mattis was very critical of North Korea, describing it as an economically and politically isolated nation whose leaders have viewed us as a military threat.
When asked whether the U.S. might attack the North pre-emptively and without warning South Korea in advance, Mad Dog Mattis replied: "We're working diplomatically, economically, we're trying to exhaust all possible alternatives to avert this race for a nuclear weapon in violation of . . . the United Nations' restrictions on North Korea's activities. We want to stop this. We consider it urgent."
China blocked tougher sanctions against the North that we put forth in the U.N. Security Council on Friday. On a positive note, the Security Council voted unanimously to add 15 individuals and four entities linked to the North's nuclear and missile programs to a U.N. sanctions blacklist, making it extremely difficult for the North to acquire fresh beets and Spam.
However, Mattis said the U.S. was fully committed to working with our global partners. "Like it or not, we are a part of the world . . . What a crummy world if we all retreat inside our borders," he said.
The U.S. currently has about 28,500 troops based in South Korea.
"We oppose countries militarizing artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by international law," Mattis said of the man-made islands in the South China Sea. "We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo."
Rep. Mac Thornberry, (R-Tx.) chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told a news conference that he believed Mattis effectively stressed our commitment to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region.
"He was very clear, very strong," Thornberry said. He led a bipartisan congressional delegation on an Asia tour and attended the Singapore conference.
"While the North Korean regime has a long record of murder of diplomats, of kidnapping, killing of sailors and criminal activity, its nuclear weapons program is maturing as a threat to all," Mattis said. "As a matter of national security, the United States regards the threat from North Korea as a clear and present danger."
When questioned about Mattis' comments regarding the North Koreans, President Trump shrugged and simply said, "Kim's a fat loser. If necessary, and I hope very, very much, that I won't have to, I will bomb the s*** out of him. He's a loser. A big, fat loser."