US Considering Shooting Down a North Korean Missile

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 21, 2017

The South Korea-United States alliance remains strong as ever despite differences on various issues, such as how to adjust the countries' free trade agreement (FTA) to make it more balanced, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said.

The looking at the possibility of shooting down a future launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea, CNN reports.

Mattis said that the USA has military options available to counter North Korea that would not necessarily create a grave risk of retaliation against Seoul.

"It is still a diplomatically led effort", he said, pointing to the UN Security Council's recent adoption of two sanctions resolutions against Pyongyang.

Even limited military actions, these analysts say, could too easily draw the United States into another military quagmire that could cause massive devastation and economic ruin.

National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong has said South Korea and the US are concerned about war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula.

The liberal South Korean president, however, is strongly opposed to the reintroduction of nuclear weapons.

North Korea tested a suspected hydrogen bomb earlier this month with an explosive yield of several hundred kilotons, enough destructive power to level a city.

Military options available to the United States range from non-lethal actions such as a naval blockade to enforce sanctions to waging cyber attacks and positioning new US weaponry in South Korea, where the United States has 28,500 troops.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his USA counterpart Donald Trump have spoken by phone about keeping the pressure on North Korea through United Nations sanctions, the White House said. They are also expected to hold a bilateral summit to discuss ways to rein in North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile technologies.

Speaking before the latest sanctions announcements, Newsham said world governments "have allowed the regime to get the money they need to survive and that has always been the regime's key vulnerability, the need for money".

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