The U.S. is reportedly not considering conducting a “bloody nose” strike on North Korea, as numerous media reports have suggested over the past couple of months.
Rumors have been circulating that President Donald Trump is seriously considering a limited military strike on North Korea in response to a provocation. A senior White House official told lawmakers Wednesday that the Trump administration has no such plans, according to The Associated Press, citing bipartisan lawmakers.
The White House “made it very clear there is no bloody nose strategy for a strike against North Korea,” Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire revealed.
“We were told clearly by administration people about as high up as it gets that there is no such thing as a ‘bloody nose’ strategy, that they’ve never talked about, they’ve never considered it, they’ve never used that term, and it’s not something that that people ought to be talking about,” Republican Sen. James Risch of Idaho told reporters.
The White House official who testified before the Senate confirmed the reports from the two senators.
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The questionable rumor that the Trump administration is thinking about bloodying North Korea’s nose was first reported by The Daily Telegraph in December. The Wall Street Journal then followed suit in January, arguing that the White House was divided over whether or not to conduct a “bloody nose” strike on North Korea.
The Washington Post later reported that Victor Cha, a candidate for the position of ambassador to South Korea, was rejected because he objected to the aggressive strategy. He later wrote an op-ed criticizing the “bloody nose” strike proposal, arguing that the logic behind it was flawed.
But, it is now unclear whether such a strategy has ever been in the works. It may be an option the Pentagon has, but the White House rejects claims they are considering a preemptive or preventative strike on North Korea.
The Trump administration has, however, signaled that all options — including the use of military force — are on the table.
“Our preference is to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through a diplomatic settlement, but we will reach this goal one way or another,” Susan Thornton, nominee for assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Thursday.
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