Defense Secretary James Mattis visits Minot Air Force Base

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is delivering a subtle message with his visit to a North Dakota nuclear weapons base: America is a mature nuclear power not intimidated by threats from an upstart North Korean leader who flaunts his emerging nuclear muscle.

Mattis would not allow reporters to watch as he met with USA forces at the Minot Air Force Base, where 150 ICBMs equipped with nuclear weapons stand ready to launch at a moment's notice. The nuclear triad program is now under review, and before taking his post as defense chief, Mattis questioned the need to keep all three pillars, suggesting that ICBMs be eliminated.

Prior to becoming Defense secretary, Mattis supported eliminating silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. "That's how a deterrent works".

Minot Air Force Base is home to two parts of the US nuclear triad? strategic bombers and about 100 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Minot also hosts the 91st Missile Wing, which operates 150 Minuteman III ICBMs, and the 5th Bomb Wing, which flies the nuclear bombers.

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The Pentagon chief also said the Trump administration is reviewing the value of 2010 New START Treaty, which caps the number of deployed nuclear warheads and launchers the United States and Russian Federation are allowed.

The visit will be his first trip to Strategic Command ever since being appointed Secretary of Defense.

One such enemy that has threatened nuclear war with the USA is of course North Korea.

The trip focusing on the USA nuclear arsenal comes after North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.

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