As tensions with North Korea continue to rise – and in the wake of a Tomahawk missile strike against the Assad regime in Syria – The US National Security Council has reportedly presented President Donald Trump with options on dealing with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un.
According to NBC News, among those options are placing nuclear missiles in South Korea, as a strong deterrent against any offensive action by the communist North Korean regime. This would be a controversial move, despite the fact that the US had nuclear weapons in South Korea as recently as the early 1990’s.
Also on the list of potential options is launching an operation to kill Kim Jong Un and senior members of the North Korean regime. This is considered the most controversial of the options, and could lead to the destabilization of North Korea – which is deeply opposed by China.
The third option is also considered the least controversial, and thus most likely. It involves a combination of cyber-warfare and covert operations to damage North Korea’s military and nuclear infrastructure.
South Korea is said to already be developing a covert operations team, and they could conceivably partner with US forces on an operation to remove the ability of Kim Jong Un to strike at either South Korea, Japan, or the West.
Trump sending a message?
The fact that news of these US National Security Council options is being leaked points to a likely intentional effort by the US government to send a message to Kim Jong Un. After the Syria strike, a message has clearly been sent that Trump is not afraid to use force, and the US will attempt to leverage that perception in order to compel the North Korean regime to change their ways.
Whether Trump can succeed where numerous US administrations have failed remains to be seen.