The Pentagon did not rule out an armed conflict with North Korea

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 24, 2017

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff has publicly acknowledged that North Korea has the ability to launch what he calls a "limited missile attack", and that American forces are able to defend such a move against the U.S. and its allies in northeastern Asia.

Speaking at the eighth annual Aspen Security Forum on July 22, Dunford described North Korea's nuclear weapons program as an urgent threat to the United States.

However, he stressed the importance of continuing economic and diplomatic pressure aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its program of nuclear weapons. But it's Dunford's job to draw up military options as a back-up plan.

"As I've told my counterparts, both friend and foe, it is not unimaginable to have military options to respond to North Korean nuclear capability", Dunford said.

With regards to USA efforts in getting Pyongyang to stop its nuclear program, Dunford said that it was best to approach the issue through diplomatic and economic means. The country is clearly on a path to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear capabilities that can reach the United States, he said. "I would probably shift that slightly and say it would be horrific and it would be a loss of life unlike any we've experienced in our lifetime, and I mean anyone who's been alive since World War II has never seen a loss of life that could occur if there is a conflict on the Korean peninsula". "The United States military can defend against a limited North Korea attack on Seoul, Japan, and the United States".

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