Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who was the target of a recent attack on the airport in Afghanistan, made a visit to the demilitarized zone on the Korean Peninsula Friday. There, he made remarks about ongoing tensions between Kim Jong Un and the U.S. while standing a stone's throw away from the North Korean border.
"I'm here today to reaffirm the United States' ironclad commitment to the South Korean people. This visit today to this demilitarized zone portrays in very strong terms the difference we see between two nations. To the south lies a vibrant country, a vibrant economy, a free country, and it's underpinned by peace-loving members of a free society," Mattis said. "Behind me to the north, an oppressive regime that shackles its people, denying their freedom, their welfare and their human dignity in pursuit of nuclear weapons in the means of delivery, in order to threaten other with catastrophe."
"North Korean provocations continue to threaten regional and world peace. And despite the unanimous condemnation by the United Nations Security Council, they still proceed," he continued. "And as the U.S. secretary of state, Tillerson, has made clear, our goal is not war, but rather the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
There is potential President Trump will visit the DMZ during his upcoming trip to Asia, but security concerns in the region decrease the chances. During his trip, which starts in just over a week, Trump will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. He will meet with high profile leaders from each country to discuss security and trade opportunities.