During Hawaii visit, Defense Secretary Mattis says NKorea a 'threat to the world'

During Hawaii visit, Defense Secretary Mattis says NKorea a 'threat to the world'

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Speaking to reporters in Hawaii on Friday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said North Korea is an "international problem."

"The Kim regime is a threat to the entire world," he said. "It requires an international solutions."

Mattis arrived in Hawaii on Friday morning and met with Adm. Harry Harris, head of the Pacific Command, on a wide range of issues, including North Korea.

Later in the day, Mattis sat down with South Korea's Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo, who's also on Oahu.

Mattis said Friday that America's aim remains a denuclearized North Korea.

"Our response to this threat remains diplomacy backed up with military options available to be understood that our diplomats are speaking from a position of strength,' said Mattis, during brief comments at Camp Smith.

Those words came before his meeting with South Korea's Minister of National Defense, Song Young-moo, and Adm. Harry Harris of U.S. Pacific Command.

Song said the two leaders would discuss a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and ensuring peace during the Olympics in South Korea, where North Korea has agreed to send a delegation.

Mattis, meanwhile, said the apparent softening of tensions between the Koreas for the Olympics hasn't changed the big picture of North Korea's nuclear posture. "So we do not lose site of the fact that the Olympics talks do not address over arching problems," he said.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Matt LoPresti, new chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, expressed frustration that Hawaii lawmakers haven't hear anything from the U.S. military following the false missile alert.

"We are operating in the dark with regard to what is the real possibilities and actualities. It's no way to govern, it's no way to set policy,' he said.

This story may be updated.

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