The only way to “locate and destroy with complete certainty” all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapon programmes is through a ground invasion, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a letter sent to US Congressman Ted Lieu on 27 October.
On behalf of the JCS, Rear Admiral Michael Dumont wrote in the letter, which was published by Lieu on 4 November, that the risks involved with the move included a potential nuclear counter-attack by North Korea while US-South Korean forces attempted to “eliminate” the Northeast Asian country’s nuclear weapons located in “deeply buried, underground facilities”.
Rear Adm Dumont also pointed out in the letter that calculating even the roughest casualty estimates for any North Korean conventional or nuclear attack is “challenging”.
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