"South Korea must realize that following psychopath [US President Donald] Trump … will only lead to disaster," a recent article in North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned.
There are no good military options on the Korean Peninsula, where 28,000 US troops stand ready with South Korean allies, former US Ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill explicated at the end of May, noting that “North Korea’s threat has really grown” in an interview with the International Business Times.
Indeed, DPRK artillery stands ready to wreak tremendous havoc in Seoul, a city just 40 miles from the demilitarized buffer dividing the Korean Peninsula.
In a June 22 interview with CBS aboard a Black Hawk helicopter in South Korean airspace, Eighth US Army Chief of Staff Col. William Taylor gestured to the city spreading to the horizon and considered the "very destructive" effects North Korea’s 300mm long range artillery units could wreak. "You talk about 25 million people," he said.
"It’s unbelievable … [Seoul] is more packed than New York City," the CBS correspondent observed.
The US Forces Korea’s motto is "ready to fight tonight."
North Korea has tested 10 missiles this year alone, despite diplomatic calls from the international community to de-escalate tensions.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in campaigned on a platform of looking to cooperate with Pyongyang instead of using an antagonistic approach.
But Moon has adjusted his tone, recently telling CBS, “we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime.”
In April, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton queried US Pacific Command Cmdr. Harry B. Harris Jr. about the Trump administration’s statement that “all options” were on the table, from a military standpoint, to conduct a preemptive strike.
“What sorts of preemptive strike options do we have against the North Koreans?” Moulton asked. Harris demurred that a plethora of options existed at various levels of intensity, but that he wouldn’t be able to discuss such choices in a public forum.
Washington’s allies in Tokyo have also explored the possibility of taking military action, Sputnik reported in March.
“Would we able to take out their artillery aimed at Seoul?” Moulton asked in his sustained line of inquiry.
The US PACOM chief replied that different levels of a preemptive attack offered lawmakers and the White House the “ability to affect North Korea’s military calculus in preemptive strikes, depending on the type of strike.”
Moulton continued that North Korean artillery installments are well-documented and cited how the “open press” has all but concluded that a preemptive strike would result in massive loss of life for South Koreans and US personnel in the region.
“Would you agree with that assessment?” Moulton asked. “Sure,” Harris confirmed.
“The political and pundit classes in New York City and Washington DC believe that the Trump administration will just kick the Kim Jong-un tin can down the road for another US president,” analyst John Stanton wrote in an April 28 report published in Counterpunch.
However, “The same elites told us all that Hillary Clinton would, with great certainty, win the 2016 presidential election” Stanton remarked.