U.S. Defense Secretary General James Mattis said on Thursday that the country’s military is “ready” to counter the threat from North Korea.
“My responsibility is to have military options if needed,” Mattis told a group of reporters in Mountain View, California, where he was visiting a new Department of Defense arm designed to speed the integration of new technologies into the U.S. military. “We are ready.”
The visit came amid rising tensions between the nations over a series of North Korean missile tests and increased aggression that prompted President Trump to threaten the Asian nation with “fire and fury.”
When asked what options the U.S. has ready, Mattis declined to answer, saying instead, “I’m not going to tell the enemy what we’re going to do.”
Mattis said that the U.S. effort to counter the nuclear missile ambitions of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is being “diplomatically led.”
Mattis praised the efforts of United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley that resulted in a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s actions.
The unanimous vote on the resolution “didn’t just happen by accident,” Mattis said. The U.S. is “dealing with the threat with an effective diplomatic effort,” he said.