The US is aiming for a peaceful de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but is “prepared to defend ourselves” if threatened by North Korea, a security briefing revealed.
US President Donald Trump’s strategy on North Korea aims to pressure Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by tightening sanctions, and Washington is open to negotiations, the Trump administration said.
“The United States seeks stability and the peaceful de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations towards that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday local time.
The policy release comes as all 100 US senators were given an extraordinary briefing by the top officials of the Trump administration on the threat posed by the rogue nation.
North Korea, meanwhile, says it “can never be frightened” by the Trump administration and will react to a US war with nuclear weapons.
A UN mission press statement on Wednesday US time said North Korea will “surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the US imperialists”.
The statement said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPKR) – North Korea’s official name – “can never be frightened” by the Trump administration’s effort to bring the country “into submission” by deploying a nuclear aircraft carrier strike group to waters off the Korean Peninsula.
The mission said “it is an unshakable will of the DPRK to go to the end if the US wants to remain unchanged in its confrontational stance”.
It said the DPRK’s “heaviest counteractions” in response to “provocations of any forms and levels from the US” will include a sudden pre-emptive attack involving manoeuvres on the ground, in the seas, underwater and in the air “and various other methods”.
The top US commander in the Pacific, Admiral Harry Harris, has told Congress the US may need to strengthen its missile defences, particularly in Hawaii, given the advancing threat from North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs.
He said the defences of Hawaii were sufficient for now, but could one day be overwhelmed and suggested studying stationing new radar there as well as interceptors to knock out any incoming North Korean missiles.
“I don’t share your confidence that North Korea is not going to attack either South Korea, or Japan, or the US … once they have the capability,” Admiral Harris said.