U.S. military considers surgical strikes if North Korea conducts another nuclear test

Adm. Samuel J. Lock­lear III, Com­man­der, U.S. Pacif­ic Com­mand, on April 17 said, “If North Korea tries a third nuclear test, we’ll con­sid­er all pos­si­ble mea­sures, includ­ing a sur­gi­cal strike on North Korea’s nuclear test site.”

He said this dur­ing a news con­fer­ence with South Kore­an reporters from the Min­istry of Nation­al Defense press corps at the South Korea-U.S. Com­bined Forces Com­mand (CFC) in Yongsan, cen­tral Seoul.

He explained on April 15 that regard­ing the brand-new ICBM-class mis­sile unveiled on April 15 by the North, “I’m not sure whether it is a func­tion­al mis­sile or just a repli­ca,” and “what’s appar­ent is that Wash­ing­ton and its allies includ­ing South Korea will work togeth­er to con­tin­ue to care­ful­ly mon­i­tor the missile’s capa­bil­i­ties and devel­op­ment trends.”

“Con­sid­er­ing the North’s aspects of provo­ca­tions, we have so many ways to deal with them that the U.S. is prepar­ing diverse chan­nels and ways with South Korea to be able to coop­er­ate each oth­er,” Adm. Lock­lear said. “Wash­ing­ton will con­tin­ue main­tain­ing U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence in the South at 28,500 troops.”

Min­istry of Nation­al Defense[MND], Repub­lic of Korea