Despite all of the buffoonery coming from the Trump administration on a daily basis, there are some bright spots there, and Secretary of Defense Mattis is one of them. He delivered news on North Korea, and it’s pretty serious.

From Reuters:

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that North Korea’s advancing missile and nuclear programs were the “most urgent” threat to national security and that its means to deliver them had increased in speed and scope.

“The regime’s nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime’s provocative actions, manifestly illegal under international law, have not abated despite United Nations’ censure and sanctions,” Mattis said in a written statement to the House Armed Services Committee.

“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea,” the statement added. “North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them has increased in pace and scope.”

He defines North Korea as a “clear and present danger.” People often write off NK as a joke because Younger Dear Leader comes off like the Fredo Corleone of the Jong-un family. We see evening satellite images of North Korea with the bulk of the country in darkness while South Korea shines brightly. We also know there are citizens of North Korea who aren’t getting enough to eat.

They still have resources, though. And they are pouring those resources into their military:

Mattis, speaking before the panel, warned of the potential losses in the case of conflict with North Korea.

“It would be a war like nothing we have seen since 1953 and we would have to deal with it with whatever level of force was necessary … It would be a very, very serious war,” Mattis said.

The Korean War ended in 1953, three years after fighting began in a conflict that would kill 140,000 South Koreans, 36,000 U.S. soldiers and 1 million civilians.

That’s unsettling, to say the least. We’ll see what happens going forward, but this doesn’t come off as sabre-rattling by Mattis.