US Considers Military Options Against North Korea
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Friday, North Korea tested another Hwasong-14 ballistic missile. It traveled about 1,000 km before splashing down harmlessly in the Sea of Japan.
Washington headed for possible confrontation with Pyongyang called it an ICBM. Russia says it’s an intermediate-range ballistic missile – posing no threat to its territory.
It’s unable to reach Alaska or Hawaii, the US states closest to North Korea.
Trump condemned what he called “reckless and dangerous,” saying his administration will take “all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies.”
Options he’s considering exclude the only one able to resolve things responsibly – outreach and diplomacy instead of belligerent threats, risking possible nuclear confrontation on the Korean peninsula.
Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford and Pacific Command head Admiral Harry Harris discussed possible military options against Pyongyang with South Korea’s military chief General Lee Sun-jin, according to Dunford’s spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks.
China criticized the DPRK’s latest test, saying it “runs counter to Security Council resolutions and the common wishes of the international community.”
A Foreign Ministry statement added “(a)t the same time, China hopes all parties act with caution, to prevent tensions from continuing to escalate, to jointly protect regional peace and stability.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese President Shinzo Abe called for national security council meetings to discuss the latest launch.
According to Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency, DPRK Defense Minister Pak Yong Sik days earlier said “(i)f enemies misunderstand our strategic status and stick to options of staging a pre-emptive nuclear attack against us, we will launch a nuclear attack on America’s heart as the most relentless punishment without warning or prior notice.”
New America Foundation senior fellow Suzanne DiMaggio explained each DPRK nuclear and ballistic missile test “strengthens its negotiating position.”
China’s ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai said “(t)here is ongoing concern between China and the US on the issue, and we hope that all parties concerned will join the diplomatic efforts and work towards the same direction.”
Arms Control Association non-proliferation policy director Kelsey Davenport agrees with others, saying sanctions won’t change Pyongyang’s determination to have an effective deterrent against possible US aggression.
Washington’s policy is wrongheaded. Its “diplomacy deficit is further compounded by the dangerous illusion that sanctions alone will push North Korea to negotiate, when the Trump administration and Congress should be focused on signaling support for talks without conditions.”
Trump’s rage for war along with hawkish generals infesting his administration risk launching new conflicts on top of multiple existing ones – North Korea and Iran perhaps their next targets.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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