As military experts assess how a potential military conflict with North Korea would unfold, the Pentagon has concluded that the price for eliminating the nation’s nuclear threat would be quite high.
According to The New York Post, security experts in the Pentagon have concluded that the only way to guarantee that North Korea’s nuclear missiles are secured is with a ground invasion.
“The only way to ‘locate and destroy – with complete certainty – all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs’ is through a ground invasion,” wrote Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont, vice director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a military assessment to US lawmakers.
The report went on to say that although a ground invasion would be necessary, it would potentially be disastrous for ground forces as the North Korean regime can still utilize a devastating array of biological weapons in retaliation.
The report added that US security experts “assess that North Korea may consider the use of biological weapons” and that President Kim Jong-un’s regime “has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents.”
In conclusion, the Pentagon came to an assessment that military intervention was unlikely to occur, and if it did, would come at a shocking cost of life.
“There are no good military options for North Korea. Invading North Korea could result in a catastrophic loss of lives for U.S. troops and U.S. civilians in South Korea,” the statement said. “It could kill millions of South Koreans and put troops and civilians in Guam and Japan at risk.”
The report comes in light of President Trump’s official Asia tour, in which he will be visiting five countries, including Japan, South Korea, and China over a 12-day period. According to The Guardian, Mr. Trump alluded to the North Korean leader during a speech he made to servicemen and women at the Yokota airbase near Tokyo.
“No one, no dictator, no regime … should underestimate American resolve,” said the President. “You are the greatest threat to tyrants and dictators who seek to prey on the innocent,” adding that all authoritarian regimes should move toward “prosperity and peace.”
The Pentagon has said that it has been “challenging” to determine “best- or worst-case casualty estimates” for various types of attacks since they would depend on the intensity and duration of the attack, and well as how much warning was given to civilians to evacuate.
In light of the report, many lawmakers in Congress have called on the President to tone down his rhetoric with the rogue nation’s leader. 14 lawmakers, all Republicans except for one Democrat, joined Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) in requesting Mr. Trump to stop making “provocative statements.”
The US military stated the only way to secure North Korea’s nuclear weapons is through a ground invasion. Do you think this will eventually happen?
They added that a ground invasion would be “deeply disturbing” and warned that it could cost hundreds of thousands–if not millions–of deaths in just a few days of fighting. Currently, there are 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea, whose capital city of Seoul is home to over 25 million people.
With so many human lives at stake, it’s not surprising to see why US military and lawmakers are so hesitant to start an armed conflict. Hopefully, things won’t need to go that far.