August 14, 2017 / 8:31 PM / a year ago

Mattis says if North Korea fires at U.S. it could 'escalate into war'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that if North Korea was to fire a missile at the United States, the situation could escalate into war.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis leaves a news conference after a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

“If they fire at the United States, it could escalate into war very quickly,” Mattis told reporters.

Mattis said the United States would know the trajectory of a North Korean missile “within moments” and if a missile is assessed to be hitting Guam, “we will take it out.”

Reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish

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