Military option in the works for North Korea as Trump meets South’s leftist leader

by WorldTribune Staff, June 29, 2017

The United States is preparing military options to deal with North Korea, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said.

“The threat is much more immediate now and so it’s clear that we can’t repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past,” H.R. McMaster said on June 28 during a security conference with Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, according to a Fox News report.

Two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups have been deployed near the Korean Peninsula since tensions with North Korea increased. / U.S. Navy via AP

McMaster said the U.S. can’t continue the same strategy from the past and expect a different result.

The national security adviser’s comments came a day before Trump was to meet with liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

The THAAD missile defense system is expected to be high on the agenda for the Trump-Moon meeting.

Moon delayed the full deployment of the U.S. system that is intended to protect South Korea and the 28,000 U.S. forces on the peninsula.

The liberal South Korean leader surprised Washington by ordering the delay.

“The critical question is which President Moon will come to D.C.,” said Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank in Washington, who advised U.S. diplomats on multinational talks with North Korea prior to the collapse of the negotiations in 2009.

“Is it the one who recognizes the growing threat from North Korea? Or is it one who is intent on engaging North Korea regardless of Pyongyang’s continued provocations?” he asked in a conference call with reporters.

The U.S. has stepped up shows of military force deploying two aircraft carrier strike groups near the Korean Peninsula. And outrage in Washington over North Korea has only grown since the death last week of U.S. university student Otto Warmbier.

Moon, who during his campaign advocated for a softer approach toward North Korea, recently said he supported the Trump administration’s strategy of “maximum pressure and engagement.”

Moon told The Washington Post that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is “unreasonable” and “very dangerous” and that pressure was necessary. But Moon said sanctions alone would not solve the problem, and dialogue was needed “under the right conditions.”

Ruggiero said that “the question really here is, given China’s sanctions on South Korea because of the deployment of THAAD, how can Trump and Moon cooperate to get THAAD operational and to help the South Korean government counter China’s sanctions?”


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