An NBC News report citing “military sources” claims Donald Trump and senior military officials are prepared to launch a preemptive conventional strike against North Korea if the country carries out another nuclear weapons test.
Military sources told NBC News that the U.S. has positioned two Tomahawk missiles in the Korean peninsula approximately 300 miles from where North Korea will carry out its next nuclear test.
The preparations come amid rising tensions in the region, with North Korea this week promising a “big event” as the country prepares to celebrate the “Day of the Sun,” the birthday of communist dictator and “eternal leader” Kim Il-sung.
Analysts believe that the country is “primed and ready” to carry out a nuclear test based on satellite images but that they would not be capable of enacting a full-scale nuclear attack.
Nevertheless, the country’s state broadcasters declared the country “would hit the U.S. first” with nuclear weapons at any sign of aggression or provocation.
Speaking on Wednesday, Donald Trump remained secretive about his plans to handle North Korea, although he declared he was sending “an armada” into the region.
Trump has repeatedly argued that China is failing to meet its responsibilities in neutralizing the North Korean threat. He does not appear to consider Chinese cooperation indispensable, however, adding that America would “solve the problem without them.”
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
On Tuesday, China turned back fully-loaded North Korean cargo ships and deployed 150,000 troops to the North Korean border in a bid to control tensions.
Reports from South Korean media also claimed that Seal Team 6, the Navy Seal squad who assassinated Osama bin-Laden, were simulating drills in which they would take out the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Although the Pentagon would not confirm the reports, they said that “ground, air, naval and special operations” are carrying out “several joint and combined field training operations” with up to 17,000 troops.