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U.S. congressmen oppose U.S. military action against N.K.

2017/11/07 14:32

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SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- A group of 16 U.S. congressmen, who all took part in the Korean War, has issued a joint statement against U.S. President Donald Trump's thought of mobilizing ground troops to destroy North Korea's nuclear arsenal, asserting its outcome could be disastrous both to South Koreans and U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea, a U.S. broadcaster reported Tuesday.

"There are no good military options for North Korea. Invading North Korea could result in a catastrophic loss of lives for U.S. troops and U.S. civilians in South Korea," Radio Free Asia cited the statement, led by Rep. Ted Lieu, as saying.

A protracted and massive ground war with the North would be disastrous for U.S. troops and U.S. allies, the statement said. "It could kill millions of South Koreans and put troops and civilians in Guam and Japan at risk."

   Every diplomatic and economic option must be exhausted before military options are considered, the statement said, citing the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff's recent assessment and a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.

The assessment refers to Vice JCS Director Michael Dumont's Oct. 27 letter responding to a request from Reps. Lieu and Ruben Gallego to provide assessments of the expected casualties and possible military operations in the event of a conflict with North Korea.

"The only way to 'locate and destroy -- with complete certainty -- all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons programs' is through a ground invasion," Dumont wrote in the letter.

The CRS report also forecast any military clash would claim the lives of up to 300,000 people within its first few days even without the involvement of nuclear weapons.

"The President (Trump) needs to stop making provocative statements (against the North) that hinder diplomatic options and put American troops further at risk," the lawmakers added.

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