US Defence Secretary James Mattis has suggested a “ground invasion” is required in order to stop the threat posed by Kim Jong-un’s corrupt regime.
In a letter to military chiefs he said: “The only way to locate and destroy – with complete certainty – all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programmes is through a ground invasion.”The US has been conducting a number of military exercises in the South in preparation for all-out war with its neighbour if a nuclear strike is launched.
The training could be seen as a threat by the neighbouring state, who are worried by the US’s presence in the region.
Officials, including general Jung Kyung-doo, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Vincent K. Brooks, commander of US Forces Korea, oversaw the drills.
The US Government estimates North Korea spends roughly a quarter of its GDP on military spending, while the British based International Institute for Strategic Studies believe Kim Jong-un has the fourth largest army in the world with more than 1million soldiers.The US and South Korea are not the only ones to have conducted military exercises in the region recently.
China conducted a series of live-fire drills off the coast of North Korea last week.
And the week before more than 40 Chinese warships took part in a major exercise in the East China Sea.Bejing’s military action comes amid fears that the country could be preparing to side with North Korea in an upcoming nuclear war.
There are concerns that war could soon break out after North Korea hinted over the weekend that they were gearing up to launch another missile strike.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC have warned a test is likely to take place soon.They said there was an “elevated chance of provocations” this month, with a “ballistic missile test expected” to take place to honour the death of North Korea’s ex-leader, and Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il.
The rogue nation’s dictator added to speculation that there could be another missile strike when he used his father’s anniversary to re-affirm his commitment to “fight more unflinchingly” than ever to lead the country to be “independent in politics, self-supporting in the economy and self-reliant in defence”.