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Pentagon: Invasion Only Way to Destroy North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal

FILE - South Korean Army K1A1 and U.S. Army M1A2 tanks fire live rounds during a U.S.-South Korea joint live-fire military exercise near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Pocheon, South Korea, April 21, 2017.

The only way for the U.S. to discover the extent of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and destroy it is through a ground invasion.

The Pentagon made that assertion in a letter to lawmakers who wanted to know about the logistics and human cost of any conflict with North Korea.

The letter from Rear Admiral Michael J. Dumont of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the lawmakers that a classified briefing “would be the best place to discuss in detail the capability of the U.S. and its allies to counter North Korea’s ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons located in deeply buried, underground facilities.”

House members Ted Lieu of California and Ruben Gallego of Arizona, both Democrats, requested the information.

On Saturday, 15 Democratic lawmakers and one Republican issued a statement in response to Dumont’s missive, also released Saturday, saying that they found the measures needed to destroy the North’s arsenal “deeply disturbing” and urged U.S. President Donald Trump to stop making cavalier remarks about the tense situation in North Korea.

Lieu told The Washington Post “it’s important for people to understand what a war with a nuclear power would look like.” He said of the 300,000 people who could potentially die in the initial days, more than 100,000 could be Americans.

Gallego said the lawmakers “want to make sure that there is full transparency and information out there about what can occur if our civilian leaders make wrong calculations.”