Pentagon chief Mattis stresses diplomacy in Korean crisis


U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, shakes hands with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo as they visit the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.

On his first visit to the tense but eerily quiet frontier between North and South Korea as U.S. secretary of defense, Jim Mattis conveyed the message he hopes will win the day: Diplomacy is the answer to ending the nuclear crisis with the North, not war.

He made the point over and over – at the Panmunjom “truce village” where North literally meets South; at a military observation post inside the Demilitarized Zone, and in off-the cuff comments to U.S. and South Korean troops.

“We’re doing everything we can to solve this diplomatically – everything we can,” he told the troops after alighting from a Black Hawk helicopter that had ferried him to and from the border some 25 miles north of central Seoul.


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