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Report: US Prepared To Launch Preemptive Strike To Counter North Korea Nuclear Threat
The U.S. is "prepared" to execute a preemptive first strike against North Korea, using conventional weapons, "should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test," several anonymous U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News this evening.
The sabre-rattling comes amid concerns by international observers that Pyongyang is aggressively pursuing new nuclear tests. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that satellite images reviewed by military analysts suggested North Korea is working to complete its sixth nuclear test.
According to 38 North, a North Korea research group based at Johns Hopkins University, the satellite photos also reveal "high levels of activity" at tunnels beneath the Punggye-ri nuclear site, where the nation's military has carried out previous tests.
In recent weeks, the Pentagon has deployed WC-135 Constant Phoenix "nuke-sniffer" aircraft to military installations in Japan to monitor for nuclear activity across the region, Newsweek reports.
The suspected test could come as soon as this Saturday, the 105th birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the nation's late founder and grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-Un. Previous reports suggested that Kim planned on carrying out his next missile launch to coincide with the culturally significant day.
Given the increasing number of long-range missile tests carried out in recent weeks by Pyongyang, the Pentagon is taking the prospect of a successful nuclear test very seriously, according to NBC News:
The intelligence officials told NBC News that the U.S. has positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, one just 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear test site.
American heavy bombers are also positioned in Guam to attack North Korea should it be necessary, and earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group was being diverted to the area.
The U.S. strike could include missiles and bombs, cyber and special operations on the ground.
The mention of special forces on the ground in North Korea is particularly provocative. Last month, South Korean media reported that Navy SEALs — namely "Seal Team 6," known for executing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden — were preparing for a "decapitation attack" to neutralize North Korean's military and political leadership (The Pentagon denied the report).
The news also comes following the use of the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, one of the largest non-nuclear bombs in the U.S. arsenal, by the Air Force against an ISIS target in Afghanistan — the munition's first use in a conflict.
But on Thursday, North Korean officials warned in a statement of a "merciless retaliatory strike" should the White House take any military actions against the rogue state, NBC News reported.
"By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula," the statement said, "the U.S. is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war."
New London — Retired four-star general John Kelly said that as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, he pushed back against the proposal to deploy U.S. troops to the southern border, arguing at the time that active-duty U.S. military personnel typically don't deploy or operate domestically.
"We don't like it," Kelly said in remarks at the Coast Guard Academy on Thursday night. "We see that as someone else's job meaning law enforcement."
These 'kamikaze' drones are believed to be the culprits of the attacks on 2 Saudi oil fields. Here's what we know about them
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Yemen's Houthi rebel group, part of a regional network of militants backed by Iran, claims to be behind the drone strikes on two Saudi oil facilities that have the potential to disrupt global oil supplies.
A report from the United Nations Security Council published in January suggests that Houthi forces have obtained more powerful drone weaponry than what was previously available to them, and that the newer drones have the capability to travel greater distances and inflict more harm.
The U.S. Air Force has selected two companies to make an extreme cold-weather boot for pilots as part of a long-term effort to better protect aviators from frostbite in emergencies.
In August the service awarded a contract worth up to $4.75 million to be split between Propel LLC and the Belleville Boot Company for boots designed keep pilots' feet warm in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit without the bulk of existing extreme cold weather boots, according to Debra McLean, acquisition program manager for Clothing & Textiles Domain at Air Force Life Cycle Management Command's Agile Combat Support/Human Systems Division.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran rejected accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting world energy supplies and warned on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles.
Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the assault was the work of Iran, a Houthi ally.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.