The Biggest Loser: Korea Aerospace Sinks 6.6% As US Defense Chief Visits

The Biggest Loser: Korea Aerospace Sinks 6.6% As US Defense Chief Visits”

In the meeting with South Korea's Defense Minister Han Min-koo, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, a former Marine general on a two-day trip to Seoul, reconfirmed a U.S pledge to "defeat North Korean nuclear attacks with overwhelming force".

In a New Year appeal, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged "an end to confrontation between the DPRK and South Korea".

The North appears to have restarted operation of a reactor at its main Yongbyon nuclear facility that produces plutonium that can be used for its nuclear weapons programme, according to U.S. think tank 38 North.

Before leaving South Korea, Mr Mattis said a nuclear attack by North Korea would trigger an "effective and overwhelming" response.

Speaking about his first overseas visit - to South Korea and Japan rather than the Middle East or Europe - Mattis said the objective was to "underscore America's priority commitment to our bilateral alliance" and make clear the administration's "full commitment" to defending South Korea's democracy.

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Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis answers questions from the press during a flight to South Korea., Feb. 1, 2017. Sgt.

In response to the continued missile and nuclear tests from the Kim regime, the US and South Korea have developed the USA missile defense system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), which is expected to be deployed in South Korea later this year.

During the meetings, Mattis said the Trump administration places a priority on the U.S.

"Were it not for the provocative behavior of North Korea, we would have no need for THAAD out here", Mattis explained.

Obama's opponents and allies alike distanced themselves from the White House for being too soft on Chinese companies, banks and individuals doing business with North Korea.

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There is evidence to support that belief, with Obama ordering USA aircraft to overfly South Korean airspace after the North's SLBM test in October and using targeting technology to simulate a strike on key targets in North Korea.

Mattis emphasized once again during his visit to Seoul that THAAD is exclusively created to protect South Korea from North Korean ballistic missiles, but Beijing is unlikely to be mollified.

North Korea is thought to be readying to test a new ballistic missile, in what could be an early challenge for Trump's administration.

Russian Federation has not been as vocal as China in its opposition to the missile defense system, which Beijing claims is being used for monitoring purposes. "And we intend to be shoulder to shoulder with you as we face this together".

It came one day after Mattis reaffirmed the longstanding United States adherence to a defence treaty with South Korea, another firm United States ally in Asia, during his meeting with top officials in Seoul. "The secretary responded that the alliance would continue to take defensive measures in response to this threat developments, such as the stationing of THAAD to Korean Peninsula".

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