North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un appears to most of the world as being mentally unstable and power hungry. Tensions in that part of the world is very tense, but the United States has informed South Korean officials that the US will defend them against any North Korean aggression.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has stressed his country’s commitment to defending Seoul against Pyongyang’s possible aggression, a media report said.

Mattis promised support during a telephone conversation with his South Korean counterpart Han Min-koo on Tuesday, Efe news reported.

The call took place on the eve of the joint annual military exercises amid high tension on the Korean peninsula following Pyongyang’s latest missile test and the murder of its leader’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia.

During the conversation, Mattis reaffirmed that any attack by North Korea on the US or its allies would receive an “effective and overwhelming” response, sources from the government told Yonhap news agency.

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