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September 19, 2017

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Amid NKorea crisis, Mattis focuses on US doomsday arsenal

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 | 12:55 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As North Korea flaunts its new nuclear muscle, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is spotlighting the overwhelming numerical superiority of America's doomsday arsenal.

On Wednesday he is dropping in on ground zero of American nuclear firepower: Minot Air Force base in North Dakota, home to more than 100 land-based nuclear missiles as well as nuclear bomb-toting aircraft. He also will receive briefings at Strategic Command, whose top officer would command nuclear forces in war.

The visits were scheduled before a recent series of North Korean nuclear and missile tests. But they give Mattis a chance to highlight what the Air Force touts as an always-ready fleet of land-based missiles and B-52 bombers equipped to deliver nuclear devastation to nearly any point on the globe in short order.