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USA has 'many' military options

USA has 'many' military options”

Most military experts believe that because Seoul is only 56km from the demilitarised zone along the border between North and South Korea, the city and its more than 10 million inhabitants would be put in Pyongyang's immediate cross hairs for retaliation if the United States made a pre-emptive strike on the North.

North Korea has fired two missiles over Japan in the past month, both of which landed in the Pacific Ocean beyond the northern island of Hokkaido. "On the contrary, they only accelerate tensions", the Chinese diplomat said. Mattis acknowledged discussing that with his South Korean counterpart but declined to say whether that option was under consideration. "We believe that political dialogue is the only way to resolve the current issues". According to the US and South Korean military, the missile was launched from the Pyongyang area.

His comments come after President Donald Trump's administration ramped up pressure on North Korea on Sunday, warning Pyongyang will be "destroyed" if it refuses to end its "reckless" nuclear and ballistic missile drive.

And with every known military option - from launching Tomahawk cruise missiles to air strikes - its likely that North Korea would interpret any strike, however limited, "as a prelude to invading or overthrowing the government, even if the United States insists otherwise", Daryl Press, a scholar of nuclear deterrence at Dartmouth College, told The Atlantic. China in turn favors an global response to the problem.

North Korea's weapons drive was set to dominate Trump's address to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday and his meetings with South Korean and Japanese leaders this week.

"He will speak in extremely tough terms about the North Korean menace and the threat it poses to our security and the security of all the nations in that room", a White House official told reporters in a call previewing Trump's remarks.

"There are many military options, in concert with our allies, that we will take to defend our allies and our own interests", Mattis said, declining to give further details.

North Korea has said it needs the capability to strike the USA with a nuclear weapon to deter an American invasion.

He said Pyongyang's calculus appeared to be created to race forward with its missile program, "without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable".



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