Washington Post

Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to US security

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, left, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Defense Under Secretary and Chief Financial Office David Norquist, listen to a question as they testify at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY'18 defense budget. Foto: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared North Korea the "most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security," before the House Armed Services Committee on Monday night, moving Kim Jon Un's regime past Russia as the No. 1 threat the United States faces.

The statement was included in the defense secretary's prepared opening statement, five months after Mattis identified Russia as first among threats facing the United States. The change comes as Pyongyang moves forward with what the United States calls an unprecedented number of tests on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and as the Trump administration's connections to Russia are scrutinized by the FBI...

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