Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Marines at Miramar on Wednesday that “God forbid” things escalate with North Korea “simply because that’s a very big war.” South Korea’s defense ministry and Japanese media warned this week that Pyongyang appears to be readying a long-range missile launch. That comes on the heels of the North’s fourth nuclear test last month.

Carter was asked at a troop event where he thinks Marines will be deployed next, as well as what the most important threats are — including North Korea — that the U.S. will face in the future. “We have to recognize also this ideology has spread to some other places and so we’re going to need to take care of it there,” he first said of the need to fight ISIS. “And we’re going to need to defend ourselves here at the homeland. I’m certain the Marine Corps will be involved in that.” FULL REPORT