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Mattis blasts North Korean leaders: ‘Kim regime is a threat to the entire world’

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The regime of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un remains a danger to the world, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday in Honolulu, while emphasizing diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

The goal remains the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Mattis told reporters at U.S. Pacific Command’s headquarters at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with South Korea Minister of Defense Song Young-moo.

“The Kim regime is a threat to the entire world,” Mattis said. “It’s an international problem that requires an international solution.”

Mattis discusses North Korean threat: 

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He noted three unanimous United Nations Security Council Resolutions on North Korea. “Our response to this threat remains diplomacy led, backed up with military options available to ensure that our diplomats are understood to be speaking from a position of strength,” the secretary said.

U.S.-South Korea ‘Ironclad and Irreplaceable’ alliance

Mattis and Song reaffirmed the strength of their countries’ alliance and America’s pledge to defend South Korea and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
The U.S.-South Korean alliance is “ironclad and irreplaceable,” Mattis said.

“Our combined militaries stand shoulder-to-shoulder ready to defend against any attack” on South Korea or the United States, he said.

Mattis praised South Korea’s “steadfast action upholding United Nations sanctions at sea,” noting South Korea has impounded two ships that were found violating the U.N. Resolutions using ship-to-ship transfer at cargo at sea.

South Korea “leads by example in carrying out the United Nations’ sanctions,” Mattis said, adding North Korea is reminded that “risking its economy to boost its rockets makes it less secure, not more.”

Enduring Pacific power

Mattis said Song is always welcome at the Pacific Command headquarters in Honolulu. This was the last stop of the secretary’s trip that also took him to Indonesia and Vietnam.

“Here in beautiful Hawaii we’re reminded that America is an enduring Pacific power — five of our states plus territories all touch on this shared ocean,” he said.

Reckless rhetoric, Dangerous provocations

Mattis said the United States and South Korea welcome the Olympic Games talks between North Korea and South Korea, but at the same time, “remain steadfast with the international economic pressure campaign to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.”

The talks for the Olympics, Mattis explained, do not address the overarching problems with North Korea.

“Diplomacy should repose reason on Kim’s reckless rhetoric and dangerous provocations,” he said.

North Korea is sending athletes, including hockey players for a unified South Korea-North Korea team, to the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. The games begin Feb. 9.

Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD

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Big League National Security

INSANE: Engineer Ran Train Off Tracks to Damage Coronavirus HOSPITAL SHIP

An unthinkable act of possible terrorism.

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A Los Angeles engineer reportedly derailed a train, sending it in the direction of the hospital ship USNS Mercy with the hopes of damaging the vessel Tuesday.

Eduardo Moreno of San Pedo is being charged with one count of train wrecking.

Prosecutors are claiming that Moreno was intentionally trying to damage the hospital ship. They allude to the possibility of Moreno being a conspiracy theorist of some sort, evidently believing that the hospital ship was going to be used for nefarious purposes.

Moreno is said to have crashed a Pacific Harbor Line train, running it off the rails and sending it careening through a barricade to the Port of Los Angeles’ docks. The train crashed through several barriers and fences, crossing over two gravel parking lots. It ceased moving before reaching the Mercy, coming to rest just before the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

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No one was injured from the derailing of the train, but a leakage of fuel from the machine required a hazmat team to respond to the incident.

Moreno allegedly told investigators that he was “suspicious” of the ship, not believing that “the ship is what they say it’s for.” The locomotive engineer reportedly went on to say that “you only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.

A Department of Justice press release on Moreno’s arrest and criminal charge describes the man as admitting to derailing the train with the intention of damaging the ship.

The Mercy docked at the Port of Los Angeles over the weekend. The vessel in present in the area to assist in containment measures for the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, in a similar fashion to the hospital ship USNS Comfort’s presence in New York City.

Derailing a train with the intention of damaging a hospital ship is an extreme criminal act, to put it lightly. The incident may have possible terrorist ramifications if it’s made clear that Moreno wanted to damage the ship for overt political purposes.

Big League Politics will continue to monitor this situation.

UPDATE:

Video surfaced of the halted train and the damage it inflicted on the municipal docks on Tuesday.

 

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