North Korea's Paranoia Justified: Trump Considering US Attack
March 3, 2017
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Carol E. Lee and Alastair Gale / The Wall Street Journal
The Trump Administration, and Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland in particular, are seeking "outside the mainstream" options for dealing with North Korea, according to reports, and that among these options would be attacking North Korea outright. An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country's nuclear-weapons threat -- a prospect that has US allies in the region on edge.
White House: Military Force
An Option Against North Korea
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 2, 2017) -- The Trump Administration, and Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland in particular, are seeking "outside the mainstream" options for dealing with North Korea, according to reports, and that among these options would be attacking North Korea outright.
While the US has kept a large number of troops on North Korea's border for generations now, but has long centered that deployment on deterrent factor, keeping the two sides, though technically still at war, from too much direct fighting with one another.
McFarland requested multiple options along with the usual one, citing a "fresh series of provocations" from North Korea, including a possible US military attack on North Korea and also the possibility of just recognizing North Korea as a nuclear state.
Either would be a dramatic shift in US policy, though an outright invasion of North Korea would be particularly shocking to the region, as it would feature a conflict with a nation which may or may not have deliverable nuclear weapons, and an arsenal of missiles and artillery that could do massive damage to neighboring South Korea.
On top of this, a US invasion would be hugely inconvenient for China, as they would almost certainly be expected to absorb a large number of refugees, as North Korea's military is in many ways the only thing keeping the population from trying to flee en masse.
White House Options on
North Korea Include Use of Military Force
The strategy review comes as recent events
have strained stability in Asia
Carol E. Lee and Alastair Gale / The Wall Street Journal
(March 1, 2017) -- An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country's nuclear-weapons threat, people familiar with the process said, a prospect that has some US allies in the region on edge.
While President Donald Trump has taken steps to reassure allies that he won't abandon agreements that have underpinned decades of US policy on Asia, his pledge that Pyongyang would be stopped from ever testing an intercontinental ballistic missile -- coupled with the two-week-old strategy review -- has some leaders bracing for a shift in American policy.
The US review comes as recent events have strained regional stability. Last month, North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, and the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated in Malaysia.
Chinese and North Korean officials are holding talks in Beijing, the first known high-level meeting in nearly a year, and Beijing recently curtailed coal imports from North Korea.
US officials have underscored the possible military dimensions of their emerging strategy in recent discussions with allies, according to people familiar with the talks.
During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's two-day summit in February with Mr. Trump, US officials on several occasions stated that all options were under consideration to deal with North Korea, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
It was clear to the Japanese side that those options encompassed a US military strike on North Korea, possibly if Pyongyang appeared ready to test an ICBM, this person said. The Japanese side found that scenario "worrisome," he said.
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