Comments from National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in a defense forum on Fox News seem to suggest time is of the essence in the conflict with North Korea.
“There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because he’s getting closer and closer and there’s not much time left,”
The comments came just days after North Korea launched an ICBM after 4 months of inactivity defying U.S. calls for North Korea to halt their nuclear program.
The provocation by North Korea’s missile test doesn’t go unanswered. The U.S. has begun to scope out sites for missile interception equipment, and on Monday, the U.S. and South Korea will carry out the largest joint air exercise ever conducted. The exercise will include 12,000 soldiers and over 200 attack aircraft. Drills are said to focus on accurate airstrikes and enemy infiltration.
The Rodong newspaper criticized the drill, and called it
“an open provocation against the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), which may lead to a nuclear war at any moment.”
They also stated
“The US and South Korean puppet warmongers would be well advised to bear in mind that their DPRK-targeted military drill will be as foolish as an act precipitating their self-destruction,”
Pyongyang also claims the Trump Administration is “begging for nuclear war” with displays of these drills. McMaster called North Korea’s Nuclear advancements the U.S. and the World’s “greatest immediate threat”.