NORTH Korea should prepare for a US onslaught if it continues to escalate its war rhetoric, the United States has warned. North Korea has repeatedly threatened the West in recent months but the USA today hit back in an extraordinary outburst. The threat was issued by US defence chief James Mattis after a visit to the demilitarised zone (DMZ) on the Korean border. He said North Korea could not be allowed to repeatedly “threaten others with catastrophe” with its fast-growing nuclear war programme. And while he said the US did not want to go to war with Kim Jong-un’s hermit state, he issued a clear military threat to the despot amid growing rumours of an imminent seventh nuclear test. Mr Mattis, speaking after visiting the DMZ with South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo, said his aim was to denuclearise the Korean peninsula. He said: “North Korea provocations continue to threaten regional and world peace, and despite the unanimous condemnation by the United Nations Security Council, they still proceed. “As the US Secretary of State has made clear, our goal is not war, but rather the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.”
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