US Marines Top Dog: US Conducting ‘Prudent’ Planning for War with North Korea

Friday, January 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the US Marine Corps, said on Thursday that the US military was in the midst of “prudent” planning in case of war with North Korea. His comments come in a rare break in tensions between North and South Korea in the lead-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

During an appearance before the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Neller said “I think the biggest thing everybody’s done is just look at, get familiar with the geography, get familiar with the plans and do some logistical preparation — that’s just prudent.”

The commandant did not pull any punches in his description of a second Korean War: “It will be a very, very kinetic, physical, violent fight over some really, really tough ground and everybody is going to have to be mentally prepared.”

As with many American leaders, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, Neller stressed that Washington was prioritizing a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. But he also said that the leaders of the US forces in South Korea, US Forces Korea Commander Gen. Vincent Brooks and US Pacific Commander Adm. Harry Harris, have “done a very good job” in preparing US forces for battle with frequent military exercises.

He added that the showcase of American military muscle happened to send a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: “You don’t want to do this. You really don’t want to do this.”

North and South Korea in January engaged in unusual high-level talks about reunification and the joint procession of their athletic teams at the coming Olympic ceremonies.

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