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Mattis issues stern warning to North Korea to cease actions leading to 'end of its regime

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis warns North Korea that the U.S. and its allies would significantly overpower North Korea President Kim Jong Un's regime. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Secretary of Defense James Mattis gave North Korea a harshly worded warning Wednesday, a day after news surfaced of North Korea's ability to produce a miniaturized warhead that would fit on a ballistic missile.

"The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people," Mattis said of North Korea in a statement delivered Wednesday afternoon.

Mattis's full statement warned North Korea that the U.S. and its allies would significantly overpower North Korea President Kim Jong Un's regime, should they be forced into an arms race:

The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack. Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council's unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability.  The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.

President Trump was informed of the growing threat last December and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces. While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.  The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.

U.S. intelligence analysts confirmed Tuesday that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized warhead, which President Donald Trump strongly rebuked.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen ... he has been very threatening beyond a normal state," Trump said on Tuesday. "They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."

Shortly after Trump's warning, North Korea released a statement indicating they were "examining an operational plan" to strike areas around the U.S. territory of Guam.

In an additional statement Wednesday, the communist nation warned that a "pre-emptive strike is no longer the monopoly of the U.S."

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