US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford tried to downplay the escalation in rhetoric in recent months surrounding North Korea. Dunford insisted that there was no sign of any change in military posture related to all the talk of war.
Gen. Dunford’s comments appear to be related to changes in posture from North Korea’s side, as the US is certainly carrying out more “shows of force” in recent months than normal, and President Trump talks about destroying North Korea a lot more than other presidents historically have.
Trump continued to talk up the military option in comments today, insisting that attack was not America’s “first option,” but would be their second option, and that the US is ready to ensure it is “devastating for North Korea.”
This comes just a week after President Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea at the UN General Assembly, and over the weekend Tweeted that North Korea wouldn’t be around much longer, leading North Korea to conclude he had declared war.
The White House has since clarified that they have not declared war, but they continue to talk up the military option, suggesting the US posture, at least narrative-wise, is dramatically changed.
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