A Pentagon assessment has declared the only way to completely destroy all parts of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme is through a ground invasion.
Rear Admiral Michael Dumont expressed the opinion on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a letter to Congressman Ted Lieu.
Mr Dumont said calculating “even the roughest” potential casualty figures would be extremely difficult.
He also gave some detail on what the first hours of a war would involve.
“The only way to ‘locate and destroy – with complete certainty – all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs’ is through a ground invasion,” he wrote in response to Congressman Lieu’s questions about a potential conflict.
The risks involved included a potential nuclear counter-attack by North Korea while US forces attempted to disable its “deeply buried, underground facilities”, he said.
“A classified briefing is the best venue for a detailed discussion,” he added.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff directly advise the president of the United States on military matters. BBC