October 27, 2017 / 3:32 AM / 2 years ago

Trump's defense chief, at DMZ: 'Our goal is not war'

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the "Political and Security Situation in Afghanistan" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

PANMUNJOM, KOREAN DEMILITARIZED ZONE, (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis peered across South Korea’s heavily fortified border with the North on Friday, saying America’s goal was not to wage war with Pyongyang but to convince leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear arsenal.

“North Korean provocations continue to threaten regional and global security despite unanimous condemnation by the United Nations Security Council,” Mattis said in prepared remarks as he visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the peninsula.

“As Secretary of State Tillerson has made clear, our goal

is not war, but rather the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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