General Dunford Not Ruling Out Military Option for North Korea

Marine General Joseph Dunford.

Marine General Joseph Dunford said on Saturday that the United States should keep the option for a military solution to North Korea open. He is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in this capacity, believes that the threat of North Korea’s nuclear program is of utmost urgency.

Although he did not deny the importance of keeping up the pressure on the diplomatic and economic fronts, he said it is wrong to say that there is no military option.

“Many people have talked about military options with words like ‘unimaginable,'” Dunford said. “I would probably shift that slightly and say it would be horrific, and it would be a loss of life unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes, and I mean anyone who’s been alive since World War II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

“But as I’ve told my counterparts, both friend and foe,” he added, “it is not unimaginable to have military options to respond to North Korean nuclear capability. What’s unimaginable to me is allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colorado. That’s unimaginable to me. So my job will be to develop military options to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Dunford made his remarks at the Aspen Security Forum. The gathering takes place each year, hosting national security officials, experts and others to discuss crucial issues in the realm of national security. Dunford was addressing himself to the worrisome development last month in which North Korea fired an inter-continental ballistic missile towards Japan.

Gail Nussbaum

Gail Nussbaum has been involved in politics and diplomacy for over 15 years. Her interest in foreign relations, economics and budget policy has led her to her position as fiscal policy writer at Left Justified. Gail can be contacted at gailnussbaum(at)

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