Secretary of Defense

Defense Secretary Mattis criticizes North Korea ahead of talks with Japan, South Korea

In his first public remarks abroad as U.S. defense secretary, Jim Mattis is criticizing North Korea for provocative acts that require new consultations with Japan and South Korea.

Mattis spoke to reporters aboard his military plane Thursday en route to Seoul from Washington.

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Mattis says he needs to speak with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts during this trip about what new defensive steps might be needed to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

The new Pentagon chief says his Seoul meetings will include discussion of deploying the U.S. missile defense system known as THAAD.