Joint Chiefs Chair to North Korea: U.S. Ready to Defend Itself, Allies with “Full Range” of Capabilities
As reported by the Associated Press, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, USMC, landed in South Korea on Sunday, and made it clear that America is prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect herself and her allies.
Saying the nation is ready “to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies and the U.S. homeland,” Dunford’s comments, and visit to the region, underline the seriousness with which the Trump administration is taking the recent threats from North Korea.
Tensions with North Korea are exceedingly high, ratcheted up largely over what appears to be NK’s serious attempts at developing its nuclear weapons program to a level such that the country would be able to actually strike at targets on the U.S. mainland. Pyongyang’s most recent expressions of hostility have centered on threats made to the U.S. territory of Guam. Specifically, North Korea has threatened to fire four mid-range ballistic missiles into waters within 18 to 24 miles of Guam. Although North Korea has a history of making highly provocative statements against America and its allies, the comments from North Korea about Guam are being taken particularly seriously, in light of NK’s increased activity on behalf of its nuclear weapons program.
Gen. Dunford will also be visiting Japan and China as a part of his tour of the region. For its part, China announced on Monday, through the Commerce Ministry, that imports of iron ore, iron, lead and coal from North Korea will be banned, effective Tuesday.
The ban represents China’s role in enacting economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations on North Korea, through a resolution drafted earlier this month by the U.S. While U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley lauded the resolution, she has soberly commented that “we should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem, not even close.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large