Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford suggested Saturday that Americans must be prepared for the possibility of a military confrontation with North Korea, whose nuclear program he deemed an urgent threat.
As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dunford is the United States’ highest-ranking military officer.
Although Dunford stressed the importance of applying continued economic and diplomatic pressure aimed at persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arms program, he dismissed the oft-stated notion that a military option shouldn’t be on the table.
“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…”
“But as I’ve told my counterparts … 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.”