The Slatest

General Warns U.S., Allies Ready to Unleash “Overwhelming Force” Against North Korea

In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber (L) flies with a South Korean fighter jet F-15K fighter jet over the Korean Peninsula on July 30, 2017.

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The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean peninsula and tested out its missile defense system as a warning to North Korea after it conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that apparently proved its ability to strike the mainland U.S. Just in case the message wasn’t clear, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned that the United States and its allies are ready to “respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy was sure to point out that while “diplomacy remains the lead” it is important to “showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”

The United States also said it carried out a successful missile defense test in the Pacific Ocean mere days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country’s latest test demonstrated its capacity to strike the entire continental United States. Analysts say data from the latest test shows that Los Angeles and Chicago, and maybe even New York, could be in the range of Pyongyang’s missiles. On Sunday, North Korea characterized its latest missile test amounted to a “stern warning” against Washington’s pursuit of more sanctions. “The US needs to stop with its delusion of trying to harm us, by clearly understanding the strategic status of the DPRK which soared up as the world’s nuclear and missile power, and our military and peoples’ strong will to revenge our enemies to destruction,” Pyongyang’s spokesman said.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his frustration at China, accusing the country of doing “NOTHING” to help the United States put the brakes on North Korea’s efforts to get nuclear weapons. “I am very disappointed in China,” Trump wrote. “Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet … they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.” The commander in chief went on to warn that “we will no longer allow this to continue.”

Earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Russia and China are “the principal economic enablers” of North Korea’s ambition and thus “bear unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability.”

Ben Rhodes, who was a foreign policy adviser under President Barack Obama, contradicted Trump’s message, writing on Twitter that it “is not at all true” China has the ability to solve the North Korea issue quickly, and warned that the president’s message involves a “very dangerous and destabilizing approach.”