Trump At Odds With Pentagon Over Strategy For North Korea Containment?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
By Paul Martin

By Aaron Kesel
NOVEMBER 8, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump contradicted the Pentagon which has claimed the only way to secure North Korea is through a ground invasion. On Tuesday night Trump gave his affirmed speech stating “the only way is peace through strength” calling on nations across the world to isolate DPRK for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“The only way to ‘locate and destroy – with complete certainty – all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs’ is through a ground invasion,” Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont, vice director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote in an assessment to U.S. lawmakers.

The report also said U.S. military leaders “assess that North Korea may consider the use of biological weapons” and that President Kim Jong-un’s regime “has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood and choking agents.”

The Pentagon assessment released late Saturday reached a dire conclusion.

“There are no good military options for North Korea. Invading North Korea could result in a catastrophic loss of lives for U.S. troops and U.S. civilians in South Korea,” the statement said. “It could kill millions of South Koreans and put troops and civilians in Guam and Japan at risk.”

The lawmakers said a ground invasion would be “deeply disturbing” and warned it “could result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting.”

Trump has consistently referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been trying to find a diplomatic solution by putting economic pressure on Pyongyang.

Sixteen lawmakers have urged Trump to tone down his rhetoric towards North Korea.

The statement was led by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) with backing from Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Carbajal (D-CA), Rep. Conyers (D-MI), Rep. DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Brown (D-MD), Rep. Rush (D-IL), Rep. Jones (R-NC), Rep. Panetta (D-CA), Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Thompson (D-CA), Del. Sablan (D-Mariana Islands), Rep. Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Scott (D-VA), Rep. Moulton (D-MA.)

The commander-in-chief feels differently; Trump gave a historic speech from South Korea surrounded by 3 U.S. carriers as he proclaimed the U.S. seeks “peace through military strength.” And he didn’t shy away from showing that strength, announcing early on in his speech that there were 3 U.S. aircraft carriers with F-35 fighter jets and nuclear submarines within reach of North Korea. It was clearly a warning for the DPRK not to try anything, but he emphasized that the U.S. wanted peace.

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