Confirming yesterday's report that the Pentagon is now prepared for a "preemptive strike", or response to any provocative action by North Korea, moments ago president Trump took the verbal war of words with Kim Jong-Un into the fourth day when he tweeted that "military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!"
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
To underscore his point, Trump moments ago retweeted the US Pacific Command's tweets from Thursday night, in which it said: "#USAF B-1B Lancer #bombers on Guam stand ready to fulfill USFK’s #FightTonight mission if called upon to do so"
Earlier on Friday, the North Korean government’s official newspaper said that the US mainland could be “reduced to ashes at any moment” as tensions between the two countries continue to mount. The Rodong Sinmun, an official mouthpiece of Kim Jong-un’s ruling Workers’ Party, said the “reckless and hysteric” behavior of Donald Trump would be to blame if the US is attacked.
The Trump administration has been “seized with anxiety and terror” following North Korea's successful testing of a long-range missile, the newspaper claimed, saying “US military warmongers are running amok”.
“It is a tragedy that the reckless and hysteric behaviors may reduce the US mainland to ashes [at] any moment,” it continued, according to KCNAWatch.
Ominously, the newspaper also said that it was the “steadfast will” of North Korea to “put an end to the hostile moves of the US” and vowed that the communist state will “win the final victory in the stand-off with imperialism and the US”. “The US and its vassal forces will dearly pay for the harshest sanctions and pressure and reckless military provocations against the DPRK,” it added.
As a reminder, on Thursday NBC reported the Pentagon yesterday unveiled a plan for a preemptive strike on North Korean missile sites with bombers stationed in Guam, once Donald Trump gives the order to strike. Echoing what we said yesterday that war "under any analysis, is insanity", the preemptive strike plan is viewed as the "best option available" out of all the bad ones: "There is no good option," a senior intelligence official involved in North Korean planning told NBC News, but a unilateral American bomber strike not supported by any assets in the South constitutes "the best of a lot of bad options."
The attack would consist of B-1 Lancer heavy bombers located on Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, a senior acting and retired military officials told NBC news.
“Of all the military options … [President Donald Trump] could consider, this would be one of the two or three that would at least have the possibility of not escalating the situation,” retired Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and an NBC News analyst, said.
Separately, Defense Secretary James Mattis said military strategists at the Pentagon have a military solution in place to address the growing threat emanating from North Korea, but they are holding their fire in favor of ongoing diplomatic efforts. The Pentagon chief said any military option would be a multilateral one involving a number of regional powers in the Pacific. “Do I have military options? Of course, I do. That’s my responsibility, to have those. And we work very closely with allies to ensure that this is not unilateral either … and of course there’s a military solution,” Mattis told reporters en route to meet with senior leaders in the technology sector in Seattle and California.
However, as the Washington Times reports, Mattis reiterated that the administration’s diplomatic efforts to quell tensions on the peninsula remained the top priority for the White House.
“We want to use diplomacy. That’s where we’ve been, that’s where we are right now. and that’s where we hope to remain. But at the same time, our defenses are robust” and ready to take on any threat posed by the North Korean regime, Mattis said.
Unfortunately with every passing day that see rising verbal escalation - and now that China has explicitly warned the US not to strike first - the possibility of a diplomatic resolution grows increasingly more unlikely.