President Donald Trump has been given revised options on how to handle the growing threat of North Korea, at least one of which includes a military response in the event of a nuclear or ballistic strike against the U.S., two military experts told CNN.
U.S. National Security Adviser HR McMaster confirmed that the U.S. military was ready and said the threat from North Korea was far more urgent than in the past.
“What we have to do is prepare all options because the President has made clear to us that he will not accept a nuclear power in North Korea and a threat that can target the United States and target the American population,” McMaster said Wednesday, CNN reported.
New South Korean president Moon Jae-in is due to visit the White House today with North Korea likely to dominate the conversation. During his election campaign, Moon promised dialogue between the two countries and has reached out several times to Pyongyang.
North Korea has its missile launches in recent months. It has launched 10 missiles in 2017 and is believed to be building a nuclear warhead.
“I hardly ever escape a day at the White House without the President asking me about North Korea and how it is that the United States is responding to that threat. It’s very much at the top of his mind,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo told MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt.
Pompeo added that he and Trump discuss North Korea for at least an hour every day. He said the risk North Korea presented was real: “For 20 years, America has whistled past the graveyard, hoping on hope, that North Korea would turn colors and become part of the Western civilization.
“They are ever-closer to having the capacity to hold America at risk with a nuclear weapon,” Pompeo said.
Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations warned lawmakers on Wednesday at the House Foreign Affairs Committee that North Korea’s missile program is probably advancing faster that they predicted, reported CNN.
“They are on target to to build an ICBM (Inter continental ballistic missile),” she said.
North Korea are also expanding the sites from which they can launch. Missiles have been fired from Wonsan and Pukchang although the Tonghae launch site, also known as Musadan Ri, is most common.