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Mattis: Chinese Engagement on North Korea Making a Difference

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that large changes in the North Korean problem have been hard to come by, but changes are occurring.

At a Pentagon briefing on Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that Chinese engagement with North Korea has improved the tension in the Korean peninsula.

“There have been cautions given [to North Korea] by nations from around the world,” Mattis said. “They clearly aren’t listening.”

“There appears to be some impact by the Chinese working here,” he said.

Mattis cautioned however that this intervention had not totally defanged the North Korean threat, given their recent ballistic missile tests.

President Trump had made a concerted effort to encourage Chinese action on the threat emanating from Pyongyang, and Mattis’s comments indicated a measure of success on that front.

Mattis warned at the briefing that war on the Korean peninsula would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.”