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U.S. Army "must stand ready" in the face of continued provocations by the North Korean regime, Defense Secretary James Mattis noted, while delivering the keynote address at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting on Monday, CBS News reported.

Mattis stressed the current strategy in North Korea for the U.S. military, saying "it is right now diplomatically led, economic sanctioned, buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off its path."

He conceded, however, that "neither you nor I can say" what the future holds for the regime. 

"There's one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed," said Mattis. 

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