North Korea has become an urgent threat due to the rise in their operations over the last several months. In fact, they have launched 10 missiles so far this year, and are said to be in the process of building a nuclear warhead.
In response, military officials have advised CNN that new revisions have been made to the U.S. military options for North Korea and are ready for President Trump’s approval.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster stated during his recent meeting with Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, “The threat is much more immediate now and so it’s clear that we can’t repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past.”
CNN also quoted McMaster as saying, “What we have to do is prepare all options because the President has made clear to us that he will not accept a nuclear power in North Korea and a threat that can target the United States and target the American population.”
Responding t the threat of a nuclear attack by North Korea seems to be at the top of the priority list for the White House presently, with President Trump in daily talks about how the U.S. will handle threats should they occur.
So, what do the revised military options include?
While the full plans have not been publicly released, the main point addressed is the retaliation plan of the U.S. should a North Korean attack become imminent.
One option that is to be discussed is a preemptive strike, however, the U.S. has always feared that this could cause a retaliation against South Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is reportedly scheduled to meet with Trump and his advisers in the following days regarding this option, among others. Because of South Korea’s complicated relationship with North Korea, they are very much facing their own threats. The Trump Administration is making every effort to take South Korea into consideration in their revisions.
South Korea has vowed to stand firmly behind the U.S. military tactics in the attempt to shut down North Korea’s nuclear development after years of maintaining a stance of peace.
“Together we will achieve the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program, peace on the Korean Peninsula and eventually peace in Northeast Asia,” Moon stated. He is said to believe — and rightly so — that North Korean Leader Kim Jong-unis dangerous and that something has to be done.
Up to this point, the U.S. has relied on political pressure from China on Pyongyang, but the military is getting its options in order in case this strategy fails.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recently questioned Defense Secretary James Mattis about U.S. military policy, asking, “Is it the policy of the Trump administration to deny North Korea the capability of building an ICBM that can hit the American homeland with a nuclear weapon on top? Is that the policy?”
Mattis answered, “Yes.”
These discussions are quite possibly being accelerated due to the recent death of American college student Otto Warmbier. Warmbier was detained in North Korea during a recent visit where he was said to have stolen a propaganda poster. Not withstanding the unjust sentence itself of 15 years of hard labor, U.S. officials assert that Warmbier’s death was caused by poor conditions and inhumane treatment.