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Mattis Claims There Are Military Options Against North Korea that Don’t Threaten Seoul

Sept. 20, 2017 (EIRNS)—During brief remarks at the Pentagon on Sept. 18, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in response to a question, claimed that there are military options available against North Korea that would not result in mass casualties from North Korea artillery bombardment of Seoul, but he declined to elaborate.

Dave Majumdar, military editor of The National Interest, reports that he consulted with half a dozen military experts to try to get an idea of what those options might be.

"The consensus was that there is no such option available—at least to the best of their considerable knowledge," he wrote in a Sept. 19 article.

"I cannot imagine a military option with regard to North Korea that doesn’t come with a significant risk of large numbers of casualties in South Korea,"

said retired U.S. Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix, director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security.

In Seoul, some South Korean opposition politicians saw Mattis’s comments as another sign that South Korea is losing its voice in international efforts to deal with the North’s nuclear program.

"Our Defense Ministry said there has been no communication with the U.S. defense secretary regarding his remark. It also appears there was no prior communication with President Trump before he made the comments about the total destruction of North Korea,"

Kim Su-min, a legislator and spokeswoman of the People’s Party, told the Associated Press.

"The government should comprehensively review its diplomatic and national security system and do its absolute best so that our stance on critical issues related to the existence of our country and the lives of our people doesn’t go ignored."