November 06, 2017 11:45
The Pentagon believes the only way to make sure that all of North Korea's nuclear weapons sites are found and secured is a ground invasion, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
The Pentagon made the assessment in a letter to two House members who asked about "expected casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea," including civilians and U.S. troops in South Korea, Japan and Guam, according to the daily.
The Pentagon also fears that the regime could use biological and chemical weapons if a war should break out on the Korean Peninsula.
"A full discussion of U.S. capabilities to 'counter North Korea's ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons located in deeply buried, underground facilities' is best suited for a classified briefing," the daily said.
"Any operation to pursue North Korean nuclear weapons would likely be spearheaded by U.S. Special Operations troops," it added. "Last year, President Barack Obama and then-Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter gave U.S. Special Operations Command a new, leading role coordinating the Pentagon's effort to counter weapons of mass destruction."
"Calculating 'best- or worst-case casualty scenarios' was challenging and would depend on the 'nature, intensity and duration' of a North Korean attack," it quoted the letter as saying.
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