If you’ve followed the entire strategy for a while you’ll note President Trump has no intention for direct military conflict with the DPRK. There’s simply no reason to use military intervention when the reality is: China driving N-Korea behavior to gain economic leverage.
The key to resolution is to defeat the economic objectives of Beijing. However, for purposes of providing the cornerstone for the Trump Doctrine, the military option must always remain available and visible. The military option enables the economic leverage.
Secretary Tillerson is in Texas today and after calling numerous ASEAN allies he is communicating via phone and video links with the White House. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman James Dunford appeared together outside the White House today to deliver a statement after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.
Secretary Mattis said: “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.”
Mattis said Washington was not looking for the “total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so.”