McMaster Says US Has “Four or Five” North Korea Scenarios, “Some Are Uglier Than Others”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Sep 26, 2017

As tensions between North Korea and the U.S. continue to escalate with every Trump tweet and subsequent response by Kim Jong-Un, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that the U.S. has prepared “four or five different scenarios” for how the crisis with North Korea will be resolved, adding ominously that “some are uglier than others.”

McMaster declined to comment on the extent to which North Korea’s deeply-buried nuclear program was vulnerable to U.S. military strikes — an assessment made of Iran before the 2015 framework agreement designed to stop its nuclear program.

He acknowledged that every military option assumed a reaction from North Korea that endangered South Korean citizens, adding it’s “foremost in our minds.” That danger “is certainly taken into consideration in all our planning and war gaming, table-top exercise efforts,” McMaster said.

Still, while McMaster said the threat from Pyongyang is “much further advanced” than anticipated and the Pentagon said the president has a “deep arsenal” to draw upon if needed, Bloomberg quoted U.S. officials who dismissed North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s comment that President Donald Trump’s warnings to Pyongyang at the United Nations amounted to a declaration of war.

That said, both governments have said “all options” are on the table in dealing with the tensions. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking in India on Tuesday, said the U.S. wants to keep engagement with North Korea in the diplomatic realm as long as possible. But on Monday Ri escalated tensions with his remark that North Korea would be within its rights to shoot down U.S. warplanes flying in international airspace. That startled markets, coming just days after the Pentagon sent planes near North Korea’s border.

Additionally, as reported this morning, North Korea boosted defenses on its eastern coastline after the US flew B-1B Lancer bombers and F-15C Eagle fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, just off the coast of North Korea – the farthest north of the demilitarized zone any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast this century, the Pentagon said. North Korea was surprised by the bombers, which weren’t caught by its radar,
Yonhap News reported, citing the head of the intelligence committee of
South Korea’s parliament.

The Pentagon said its most recent bomber and fighter exercises were meant to underscore “the seriousness with which we take DPRK’s reckless behavior,” White said last week, using the initials for North Korea’s formal name. “This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options.”
The question of course, is how would Pyongyang respond to any potential strike: military analysts have said any conflict between the U.S. and North Korea would risk a devastating attack by Pyongyang on the South Korean capital Seoul.

The Rest…HERE

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