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Right-wing militarists led by Mattis taking over US government: Writer

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis (L) is greeted and escorted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford (R) as he arrives for the first day January 21, 2017 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

Lunatic, right-wing militarists led by US Defense Secretary General James Mattis have taken over the US government, an American writer and retired professor says.

James Petras, who has written dozens of books on international issues, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday while commenting on a US threat of using nuclear weapons against North Korea.

President Donald Trump held a conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, after North Korea conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb. The White House published a readout of Trump's talks with Abe that said the US is ready to use the “full range” of capabilities, including nuclear arsenal, at its disposal in dealing with North Korea.

“To put it in the context of Korean relations, I think most outside observers say the US has not tried diplomacy; it’s been threatening North Korea and creating insecurity on that peninsula,” Petras told Press TV. “I think one of the first steps is to pull back from these military threats.”

North Korea on Sunday announced it had conducted a “successful” hydrogen bomb test, hours after two tremors were detected in the country.

“The hydrogen bomb test was a perfect success,” North Korean state television said, adding that the device was capable of being loaded onto long-range missiles.

The North Korean broadcaster said the nuclear test had an “unprecedentedly large power,” and that it “marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force.”

‘Death wish on the part of the US’

“North Korea today is also a nuclear power. So it’s kind of a death wish on the part of the US that has close to 30,000 troops in South Korea, and if it engages in military exercise or military intervention, it’s going to also cost US and South Korean military forces there,” Professor Petras said.

“I don’t think the US is on a right course. It’s invading the Russian counsel in the United States. It’s questioning the Iran nuclear agreement with the five powers, it’s threatening to put the US armada in the South China Sea,” he stated.

“I think in general there is a kind of lunatic, right-wing militarists that have taken over the government led by General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, as they call him. And I think this is a very dangerous path,” the analyst noted.  

“And I think the fact that the US openly declares military, nuclear threat to North Korea is something that the world should worry about,” he concluded.

On Sunday, Mattis warned of a “massive military response” to any North Korean threats, but he stopped short of threatening the country with a nuclear attack. 

Last week, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un ordered the production of more rocket warheads and engines, shortly after the United States suggested that its threats of military action and sanctions were having an impact on Pyongyang’s behavior.

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