The Army’s top uniformed official on Thursday said a land war with North Korea would be “highly deadly,” and that the United States has no good options for how to deal with the rogue nation.
“War in the Korean peninsula would be terrible, however, a nuclear weapon detonating in Los Angeles would be terrible,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said.
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, Milley said the United States is “at a point in time where [a] choice will have to be made once way or the other. None of these choices are particularly palatable. None of them are good.”
Milley said he believes the United States “would utterly destroy the North Korean military,” if it came to such a point. But “that would be done at a high cost in terms of human life, in terms of infrastructure.”
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made similar comments in May, saying that a war with North Korea would be “catastrophic,” and would place United States allies in the region at extreme risk.
North Korea on Tuesday promised a nuclear strike on “the heart” of the United States if it continues its attempts to denuclearize Pyongyang.
Lawmakers and Pentagon officials alike have been growing more concerned with the pace of North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, particularly after a successful July 4 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the nation’s first.
Mattis said earlier this month that he does not believe North Korea’s new ballistic missile capability brings the United States "closer to war" with the country, but he asserted that the U.S. military "remains ready" for any conflict.