The White House is reportedly considering using military force to cripple North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
An internal White House review exploring policy options to address the North Korean threat includes the possibility of military force or regime change, reports the Wall Street Journal.
North Korea recently conducted a test of a new type of solid-fueled, medium-range ballistic missile. North Korea is also developing advanced nuclear weapons capabilities and working on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting targets in the continental U.S. Pyongyang claims that it is close to testing an ICBM.
In response to these provocations, President Donald Trump said North Korea is a “very big problem that will dealt with strongly.” During the meeting with the Japanese prime minister and other state officials, several U.S. officials reportedly stressed that “all options were under consideration,” according to people familiar with the discussions, the WSJ revealed.
About two weeks ago, deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland gathered national security officials to solicit policy proposals to address the North Korean threat. Their proposals were submitted Tuesday and include options ranging from U.S. recognition of North Korea as a nuclear weapons state to military action.
The proposals are being vetted and will be submitted to Trump for review. Some observers suggest that the president, given Trump’s past rhetoric on this issue, may move to completely overhaul U.S. policies regarding North Korea, potentially opening the door to a more aggressive approach than that of his predecessor.
“Any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with a response that is effective and overwhelming,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told his South Korean counterpart Han Min-koo, restating his previous position.
The ongoing drills are, according to South Korea, the “largest-ever” U.S.-South Korean exercises.
North Korea will “mercilessly foil the nuclear war racket of the aggressors with its treasured nuclear sword,” a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army told the Korean Central News Agency.
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