US May Be Preparing Preemptive Strike Against North Korean Nuclear Sites

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
By Paul Martin

It’s no secret that the US military has been gradually amassing firepower on the Korean Peninsula since Pyongyang began testing a range of ballistic missiles in April, triggering a US military buildup across the border in South Korea. Now, it appears the Pentagon is preparing its forces there for a potential nuclear strike against North Korea.

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber, the two planes comprising the “air leg” of the US’ nuclear triad, have both been deployed to the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, Business Insider reported that the B-2s may soon be equipped with modified B-61 nuclear bombs.

The B-61 thermonuclear gravity bomb has been the US’ low yield strategic and tactical nuclear bomb of choice since the 1960s. Its compact design was recently modified to increase its penetrative potential so that it can better strike at underground targets — where most of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is believed to be.

The new B-61 also can be adjusted to greatly reduce nuclear fallout after a strike. One major point of contention behind an American nuclear strike would be the untold ruin it would bring on North Korean civilians for generations to come. Geopolitical analysts have sought a way for Washington to have its cake and eat it too: to demolish North Korea’s nuclear sites without damaging anything but those nuclear sites.

White House reports from earlier in January claimed that Trump was considering a “bloody nose” strike against Pyongyang’s nuclear sites. When asked about this possibility, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that “we have to recognize that the threat is growing and that if North Korea does not choose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation then they themselves will trigger an option.”

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