Mattis: War With North Korea Would Be 'Catastrophic'

"The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, which is the capital of South Korea", Mattis told Face the Nation.

"To deter North Korea, we, together with the United States, will take concrete actions", Abe said.

"The bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we're not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means", he added.

In that parade, Pyongyang unveiled a number of new weapons, including an apparent anti-ship missile known as the KN-17, which experts said may have been the missile involved in Monday's test.

There has been mounting speculation that Pyongyang will conduct a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, suggested by a New Year's Day address in which the North Korean leader claimed that the country was in the "final stages" of developing such a weapon.

North Korea did not this time specify the type of the missile it test-fired.

Likewise, Mattis did not describe a timeline for a point of no return.

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a post on Twitter, portrayed the missile test as an affront to China.

Since his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, Trump has repeatedly praised China for trying to increase pressure on North Korea while refraining from labeling Beijing a currency manipulator for fear it could hamper efforts to enlist Chinese help in reining in the North.

He said: "As we agreed at the recent G7, the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the worldwide community".

North Korea test launched a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions.

The exercise will test the ability of the ground-based interceptor missiles at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to shoot down an ICBM over the Pacific Ocean.

Japan's Defense Ministry also confirmed the missile launch.

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