A floor invasion of North Korea is the one option to “‘locate and destroy'” the reclusive nation’s nuclear weapons websites “with complete certainty,” the Pentagon wrote in a letter to lawmakers.
The letter, outlining what a possible battle with North Korea would seem like, mentioned that it’s tough to evaluate the “‘best- or worst-case casualty scenarios'” from an badault from the North, noting the proximity of Seoul, South Korea’s capital and largest metropolis, to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Also obscuring casualty estimates is uncertainty about how a lot superior warning the U.S. would have earlier than a possible badault by Pyongyang, Rear Adm. Michael Dumont, the vice director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, wrote.
The evaluation put forth within the letter to Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoDems make last-ditch effort to ban wall funds from protection invoice Dem needs House to formally acknowledge Russian election interference Dem rep mocks Trump over plane provider MORE (D-Ariz.) places in stark phrases what a battle with North Korea may entail, warning that the nation may flip to its stockpile of organic and chemical weapons within the occasion of warfare.
The Pentagon declined to element how the U.S. would counter a nuclear strike by North Korea, however supplied to present lawmakers a labeled briefing on the matter.
The letter additionally reaffirms the Pentagon’s badist for the present routine of sanctions and diplomatic stress towards North Korea, noting that there has not been a latest noticeable “change in the offensive posture of North Korea’s forces.”
“We remain postured to respond in the event of a provocation or conflict, and we have taken all appropriate measures to protect our allies, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, and U.S. Forces in those countries,” the letter reads.
The evaluation got here in response to a letter despatched to Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisPence to go to ICBM base McAfee stops permitting governments to overview supply code Terror designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a vital first step MORE in September, by which Lieu and Gallego requested a casualty estimate of a possible battle with North Korea.
“A decision to attack or invade another country will have ramifications for our troops and taxpayers, as well as the region, for decades,” the lawmakers wrote on the time.
President Trump arrived in Japan, one of many U.S.’s closest allies within the area, on Saturday for the primary cease on a 12-day journey throughout Asia, by which North Korea is for certain to be a key problem of dialogue. He can be set to go to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The journey is Trump’s first to Asia since taking workplace in January, and comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which has stepped up the tempo of its weapons checks in latest months. Trump has additionally engaged in a bitter confrontation with North Korea officers, and has repeatedly threatened navy motion towards the nation.