The Pentagon Joint Chiefs have come forward with an assessment of a possible war against North Korea and are reaching the conclusion that only a ground invasion would assure North Korean disarmament.
Rear Admiral Michael J Dumont of the joint staff offered his conclusion of possible US options to the North Korean situation in response to a letter from two Democrats who had asked about casualty assessments in any conflict with the rogue nation.
In response to this answer, the Ms Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Democrat, wanted US Secretary of State, Mr Rex Tillerson, to “stay the course”, saying: “It is the most bleak assessment. I’ve spent a lot of time reading the intelligence. I’ve had an opportunity to discuss the situation with Defense Secretary James Mattis. I believe that an outbreak of war would kill hundreds of thousands of people.”
To reach their conclusion, the US military evaluated North Korea’s ability to target the heavily populated areas of South Korea with long-range artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles in a rapid response to any US strike.
Adding that Seoul, the South Korean capital with a population of 25 million, would always be the first target as it is only 35 miles from the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
Casualty estimates differ depending on the moment advance warning could be given as well as the ability of US and South Korea forces in the area to counter such attacks, Admiral Dumont admitted, mentioning that chemical and biological weapons usage are a possibility that they are taking into account when evaluating the response of the regime of Kim Jung-Un.
Ms Feinstein added she was “very pleased that Secretary Tillerson is with the president in Asia. I think if he will stay the course and use diplomacy the way diplomacy can be used, that it might be possible to work something out. The worst alternative is a war which could become nuclear.”