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Senate confirms Mattis as defense secretary

All News 09:20 January 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the nomination of retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as defense secretary Friday in the first confirmation of a Cabinet member of the administration of President Donald Trump.

The Senate approved the nomination in a 98-1 vote.

Senate confirms Mattis as defense secretary - 1

Mattis, 66, retired in 2013 after serving 44 years in the military. Nicknamed "Mad Dog" because of his tough talk and eagerness to fight, he is considered something of a legendary figure and is well respected not only in the Marine Corps but also throughout the U.S. military.

He is also a strong advocate of alliances.

During his confirmation hearing last week, Mattis said the U.S. is "stronger when we uphold our treaty obligations" and he will try not only to uphold existing alliances, but create new alliances as well.

Mattis also said the North's nuclear and missile development is "a serious threat and we've got to do something about it." Asked if "necessary force should be on the table" to deal with the threat, Mattis said, "I don't think we should take anything off the table."

He also said the U.S. should work closely with South Korea and Japan to cope with North Korean threats.


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