A U.S. military attack on North Korea is possible and America should be prepared for it, says the nation’s highest ranking military officer.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., made the admission during a talk at the Aspen Institute on Saturday.
“Many people have talked about military options with words like ‘unimaginable,'” Dunford said. “I would probably shift that slightly and say it would be horrific, and it would be a loss of life unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes, and I mean anyone who’s been alive since World War II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
“But as I’ve told my counterparts, both friend and foe, it is not unimaginable to have military options to respond to North Korean nuclear capability. What’s unimaginable to me is allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colo. That’s unimaginable to me. So my job will be to develop military options to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Dunford made the remarks at the Aspen Security Forum, a gathering of national security experts in the Colorado resort town, Politico reported.
Historians say 405,399 Americans died in World War II and 54,246 were killed in the Korean War (1950-1953).
The general’s remarks were prompted by the recent testing by North Korea of what might be an intercontinental ballistic missile. Dunford hopes that economic sanctions and diplomacy can end the crisis without bloodshed.
Dunford is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and the chief military advisor to the president, secretary of defense, national security and congress. Before taking over as the 19th chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Dunford served as the commandment of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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