Military Options Against North Korea 'Overwhelming'

Casey Dawson
September 17, 2017

How has North Korea responded in the five weeks since President Donald Trump threated Pyongyang with "fire and fury?" Now, however, with North Korea perilously close to being able to directly threaten USA cities with nuclear obliteration, the worry for some is that Pyongyang could blackmail Washington into qualifying or limiting its support for its allies in the region.

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement, "Initial assessment indicates the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile" that did not pose a threat to Guam.

"I believe it will further North Korea's isolation - diplomatic and economic isolation - because more and more nations are realising there's simply no collaboration with the worldwide community". While Washington warns of military options, it says it still wants a peaceful solution. "We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the global community's strong, united resolve towards peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act", he said on Friday. And there's little sign that talks involving the U.S., North Korea and other interested countries can be arranged amid the nearly weekly barrage of weapons tests and threats, let alone stop the North's determined nuclear march. Only now, the threat is heightened.

"After seeing our capabilities, I am more confident than ever that our options are not only effective but overwhelming", Trump said.

This AP file photo shows U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Finally, on Thursday the President will meet with the leaders of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, before South Korea and Japan, with which he will discuss the world's "most urgent and unsafe security problem", North Korea. That plan seeks to set the stage for a resumption of talks after Pyongyang suspends its nuclear and ballistic missile activity and the US and South Korea suspend their joint military exercises. But the North has ignored countless worldwide reproaches previously.

The launch is the second to flyover Japan in less than a month, and the first since North Korea's sixth nuclear test and new United Nations sanctions on the country.

"We ought to make clear what's different about this approach is that we're out of time", McMaster said.

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Promoting an "America First" agenda at the United Nations.

Ultimately, the United States needs to not only deter North Korea, but also to reassure Japan and South Korea that they will neither be abandoned by their ally nor entrapped in a wider conflict precipitated by America's own independent strategic decisions. Relaxing the last of these principles would enable Japan to reintroduce USA tactical nuclear weapons to Japan, not only bolstering Japan's ability (with USA support) to deter North Korea, but also importantly reinforcing the commitment by Washington to defend Japan.

McMaster said that reform of the very much on the table at the meeting in general, with focus on ideas for making the notoriously inefficient organization, whose biennial core budget is $5.4 billion, more streamlined.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Friday that North Korea has been "strangled" by sanctions and that, while it is important to pursue diplomatic options, military options remain squarely on the table if sanctions are not effective.

Lisa Collins, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said other nations will be watching the United States at the U.N. next week to determine Trump's next steps.

"The Trump administration intends to change that".

"I have no problem with kicking it to General Mattis because I think he has plenty of options", Haley said. "Hopefully there will be coordination with allies on their policy lines before he adds anything to the speech about North Korea". If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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