Reports are coming out that the US is contemplating shooting down one North Korean ballistic missile, with or without it being a direct threat to the US or its allies.
On Monday, CNN quoted Defense Secretary James Mattis saying that North Korea is “intentionally doing provocations that seem to press against the envelope for just how far can they push without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable.”
CNN continued: An official directly familiar with options planning within the Trump administration told CNN the question that now needs to be answered is whether North Korea’s missile program has progressed to the level of being such an inherent threat that the Pentagon would recommend targeting a missile even if its trajectory did not indicate it would hit the US or its allies. The official declined to speak on the record because of the sensitivity of the issue.
While US officials have long said the military maintains a full range of options for dealing with North Korea, the notion of shooting down a missile has largely centered on conducting an operation if the missile were to directly threaten the US or its allies. There has been particular concern since Kim Jong Un recently threatened the US territory of Guam.
The idea of shooting down a missile even if it is not a direct threat is not new. But with two recently launched North Korean missiles flying over northern Japan, the potential for having to consider a shoot-down without a direct threat remains very real, according to one senior defense official.
Trump’s administration has made it clear there are a variety of military options on the table. Mattis even said there are military strategies the US can execute that would not put Seul in the direct risk of a NK counterattack.
Asked at an off-camera briefing at the Pentagon if there are military options that would not put Seoul at “grave risk?” He answered: “Yes there are, but I will not go into details.”
With all this to consider what do you think should happen with North Korea?
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