Invasion would be needed to destroy North Korea bombs, Pentagon says

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

Dumont also mentioned the possibility that chemical and biological weapons might be used by the North in case of a conflict.

His summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has strengthened the nations' resolve to maximize pressure on North Korea, including through trilateral cooperation with South Korea. The letter took pains to assert that a more precise assessment of the tactics, logistics and human risk involved in a full-scale U.S. ground assault against North Korea must remain classified, for now.

Potential casualties from a conflict depended heavily on the intensity of any attack on South Korea's capital, Seoul, which lies just 35 miles (56 km) from the border, as well as how much advance warning the USA and its allies had, he said.

The group of politicians, comprising of 15 Democrats and one Republican, described the assessment as "deeply disturbing" and said such an action "could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting".

'It is our intent to have a full public accounting of the potential cost of war, so the American people understand the commitment we would be making as a nation if we were to pursue military action, ' the lawmakers said.

In terms of providing humanitarian assistance during or after conflict, Dumont said South Korea will have the primary responsibility for "post-conflict and transitional operations" on the Korean Peninsula. "It could kill millions of South Koreans and put troops and civilians in Guam and Japan at risk".

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The report comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is on a 12-day long Asia tour, in an attempt to defend his strong rhetoric against Pyongyang and its burgeoning nuclear capabilities.

'No dictator, no regime, no nation should ever underestimate American resolve, ' Trump told hundreds of cheering United States and Japanese troops in camouflage uniforms gathered at Yokota Air Base, just west of Tokyo, soon after he arrived.

North Korea in July launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles apparently capable of reaching the USA mainland. The U.S. administration says it seeks a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff but "all options" are on the table. It was not pleasant for them, was it? Trump has previously dismissed DPRK leader Kim Jong Un as a "little rocket man" on a suicide mission.

North Korea has continued to test nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, despite several sanctions imposed on the country by the United Nations.

The claim was made in September by a retired Air Force general who said the figure was estimated based on a conventional war scenario and did not include potential use of nuclear weapons.

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