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Jim Mattis
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis answers questions while speaking at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Mountain View, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. Not backing down, President Donald Trump warned Kim Jong Un's government on Thursday to "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Mattis said a North Korean missile strike on the US could 'escalate into war'


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday that a North Korean missile strike on the U.S. could "escalate into war very quickly."

He added that the U.S. will "take out" any North Korean missile heading for American soil, including the Pacific island of Guam.

This statement echoed what President Donald Trump tweeted Friday.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely," Trump tweeted. "Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"

North Korea previously said it is considering a plan to launch four ballistic missiles to land in the sea near Guam.

When asked how the U.S. would respond, Mattis said if tracking systems determined the missile would fall into the sea just short of Guam, it would be up to the president to determine how to respond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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