Pentagon says securing North Korea's nukes would require ground invasion

The only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is through a ground invasion American military planners said on Saturday. North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un is seen in the above file

South Korea is pushing to arrange reciprocal visits by the leaders of South Korea and China as the two countries are mending ties frayed by the deployment of a USA missile defense system, its top diplomat said Monday. But that doesn't mean it hasn't considered its options.

"There are no good military options for North Korea".

Responding to a formal request by two US House members for projections relating to "expected casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea", the Pentagon stated in a letter that the only method to accomplish disarmament "with complete certainty" would be through a ground invasion, confirming fears that casualties - both military and civilian - would be very high, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The interview was broadcast as a letter by the US Defense Department emerged that said the only way to locate and secure all North Korea's nuclear weapons sites would be via a US ground invasion.

Trump has rattled some allies with his vow to "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatens the United States and his dismissal of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rocket man" on a suicide mission.

But behind the scenes, Trump may be more interested in talking than he lets on.

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Thae, the highest-level North Korean defector in two decades, appeared to confirm what has always been suspected but rarely articulated by US officials - that even a selective American strike could rain a potentially devastating North Korean military response on the South Korean capital and its environs, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the heavily militarized frontier. In a speech before US troops based in Japan, Trump claimed that "no dictator, no regime and no nation, should underestimate, ever, American resolve".

'Every once in a while, in the past, they underestimated us.

The admission by North Korea that the sanctions are hurting comes after the United Nations security council imposed a new round of them in early September following North Korea's sixth underground nuclear test.

CNN reports North Korean government officials saying that the nation is watching Trump's Asia visit closely and is monitoring the three carrier strike groups off South Korea. It was not pleasant for them, was it?' said Trump, who wore a leather bomber jacket as he addressed the troops.

"The letter, outlining what a potential conflict with North Korea would look like, said that it is hard to assess the "'best- or worst-case casualty scenarios'" from an attack from the North, noting the proximity of Seoul, South Korea's capital and largest city, to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

The bill targets banks and other financial institutions that continue to do business with Pyongyang and anyone else that evades existing sanctions to support with the rogue nation.

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