US said preparing strike to ‘utterly destroy’ N. Korean nuclear program

Sunday, April 16, 2017
By Paul Martin

VP Pence jets into Seoul as Korea tensions ratchet up; British officials are told Washington is considering a preemptive attack

April 16, 2017

US Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in Seoul Sunday, flying into a geopolitical maelstrom amid a possible North Korean nuclear test and harsh US warnings about a military response.

Pence’s first visit to South Korea — part of an Asia swing that also includes stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia — was conceived months ago, but could hardly come at a time of higher tension.

On Sunday, the UK’s Sunday Times reported that top military advisers to US President Donald Trump have told their British counterparts that Washington was considering a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear program, and believed it had the firepower to neutralize it.

Citing “senior sources” in the British government, the paper said the US believed it would be able to “utterly destroy” the key installations required to remove the threat the program posed to North Korea’s neighbors and the US.

According to the paper, US Defense Secretary James Mattis discussed a US strike on North Korea with his British counterpart, Michael Fallon, some two weeks ago, and similar conversations have been held between British officials and Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.

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