December 21, 2017
This picture from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) taken Dec. 29, 2017 and released Dec. 30, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (front C) attending an art performance of chorus and the Moranbong band with participants in the 5th Conference of Cell Chairpersons of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. – Photo: Getty Images
A nuclear war between the United States and North Korea is closer than ever before, at least according to one top official. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that the administration of President Donald Trump has put the United States in a precarious position with the hermit kingdom.
“Those that would do us ill seem to be able to take advance of the uncertainty as well, and you mentioned both Russia and China, and my expectations that will continue to be the case for them as well as Iran and North Korea,” Mullen said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’re actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been.”
Mullen served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush. He also said he was concerned about how much longer top officials like Defense Secretary James Mattis would be able to steer Trump toward the right decisions.
North Korea, meanwhile, appeared to be preparing for yet another nuclear missile test in 2018. In a statement released by state news outlet the Korean Central News Agency, Kim Jong Un’s regime praised its multiple missile tests this year and vowed to continue the approach.
The regime also recently warned it would not give up its nuclear weapons, calling the United States’ wishes that it would do so a “pipe dream.”
“If the U.S. wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy towards the DPRK and learn to co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons and should wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons which we have developed and completed through all kinds of hardships,” North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement, according to KCNA.