Foreign Policy

Report: Trump Presented With Options for North Korea

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Officials who spoke to NBC News say Trump has been presented with three options for dealing with North Korea, all of which sound terrible to me.

All three options presented to Trump include the use of force or even the threat of nuclear force.

The first and most controversial course of action under consideration is placing U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea. The U.S. withdrew all nuclear weapons from South Korea 25 years ago. Bringing back bombs — likely to Osan Air Base, less than 50 miles south of the capital of Seoul — would mark the first overseas nuclear deployment since the end of the Cold War, an unquestionably provocative move. [...]

Another option is to target and kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other senior leaders in charge of the country's missiles and nuclear weapons and decision-making. [...]

A third option is covert action, infiltrating U.S. and South Korean special forces into North Korea to sabotage or take out key infrastructure — for instance, blowing up bridges to block the movement of mobile missiles. The CIA, which would oversee such operations, told NBC News it could offer "no guidance" on this option.

Retired Admiral James Stavridis told NBC News that targeting North Korea's leadership "is always a tempting strategy when you're faced with a highly unpredictable and highly dangerous leader," which hits uncomfortably close to home. Trump is an unpredictable and dangerous leader.

And that's what makes these bad options seem even worse, isn't it? Who really trusts the Trump regime to properly execute or handle any of these plans?

What happens if an attempt to assassinate Jong-un misses? What if special forces operators are discovered before they can reach their objectives? Over 25 million people live in the Seoul metropolitan area and all of their lives are at risk.

We can't predict how Kim Jong-un will respond to any actions taken by the Trump regime any more than we can predict how Trump will respond.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Can’t imagine South Korea is in favor of any of these options. ESPECIALLY #1.

  • I remember the days when “patience and diplomacy” were working. Too bad W screwed that up. Wish someone else would try it. It would be great to save the North Korean population from the craziness of their leaders.

  • Kitty Smith

    I was going to say. I hope Trump doesn’t try to kill Kim Jong Un because he’s gonna fuck that up too.

  • muselet

    A fourth option is, of course, “strategic patience,” the policy of the Obama administration toward North Korea.

    But the Trump administration would never consider something so sane and unexciting, would it?

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      Patience and diplomacy was working until George W. Bush abandoned it and placed North Korea on the “axis of evil” and decided to stop negotiating. It may be too late to go back now.

      • Georgie

        Doesn’t S Korea have to agree to have USA nukes in their country? Or does trump have say over that too.

    • ProudLiberalAlways

      Oh HELL NO! You cannot incorporate “strategic patience” into an ‘exciting’, reality-show like, tension-filled cliff hanger—— so who the devil wants that?

  • ninjaf

    This is just frightening.

  • Draxiar

    “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons” `HRC

    And of course Putin’s useful foolish puppet is doing exactly what Putin likely hoped he would do with both Syria and North Korea.