CONFIRMED: US ‘preparing to attack’ North Korea
Daily Telegraph claims US engaging in advanced planning for military strike against North Korea
21 December, 2017
An article in the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph is reporting that the US is now very close to deciding on a list of options for military strikes against North Korea.
………this newspaper talked to around a dozen current and former officials in America and Britain about policy towards North Korea. The conversations show that the Trump administration is more willing to consider military options to end the conflict than widely assumed.
The White House has “dramatically” stepped up preparation for a military solution in recent months amid fears diplomacy is not working, well-placed sources said.
One option is destroying a launch site before it is used by the regime for a new missile test. Stockpiles of weapons could also be targeted.
The hope is that military force would show Kim Jong-un that America is “serious” about stopping further nuclear development and trigger negotiations.
Three sources – two former US officials familiar with current thinking and a third figure in the administration – confirmed military options were being worked up.
“The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious”, said one former US security official briefed on policy.
Mr Kim’s refusal to negotiate has left senior White House figures disillusioned with diplomacy and increasingly considering military avenues.
One British source who recently attended a briefing with H.R. McMaster,Mr Trump’s national security adviser, and other officials left feeling alarmed.
“The Americans said deterrence doesn’t work against North Korea and negotiation doesn’t work,” the source said.
“Those who heard them left with the impression that military action is very much an option they were considering seriously.”…..
British officials are continuing to urge their US counterparts to focus on diplomatic solutions and are looking to increase pressure on North Korea.
Pressure to act comes from the drop in estimated time it will take for North Korea to develop a missile that could hit America with nuclear weapons. Just a few years ago it was believed the regime was a decade away from that point, but now the figure has dropped to as little as 18 months – though estimates vary. Senior figures in the Trump administration have made clear in public that it would be unacceptable for North Korea to reach that position.
Experts also say there is a split in the US administration with Mr Trump and Mr McMaster more willing to consider military action than Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, and Jim Mattis, the defence secretary.