(NationalSentinel) North Korea: In any future conflict with North Korea, U.S. special operations troops would be sent in to strike Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons infrastructure, a report noted Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in yet another sign that war on the Korean peninsula may be a foregone conclusion, China urged its citizens living and working in the Hermit Kingdom to leave the country.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, U.S. Army Gen. Raymond A. Thomas told a House subcommittee this week that Army, Navy and Air Force special operators would be used in any future conflict against North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction sites, and are already based permanently and in rotations on the Korean peninsula.
The Free Beacon noted further:
The special operations training and preparation is a warfighting priority, Thomas said in prepared testimony. There are currently around 8,000 special operations troops deployed in more than 80 countries.
“We are actively pursuing a training path to ensure readiness for the entire range of contingency operations in which [special operations forces], to include our exquisite [countering weapons of mass destruction] capabilities, may play a critical role,” he told the subcommittee on emerging threats.
“We are looking comprehensively at our force structure and capabilities on the peninsula and across the region to maximize our support to U.S. [Pacific Command] and [U.S. Forces Korea]. This is my warfighting priority for planning and support.”
In other words, getting special ops forces ready for an incursion into North Korea is a big deal – and plans are being updated and honed.
Special operations missions are said by military experts to include intelligence gathering on the location of nuclear and chemical weapons sites for targeting by bombers. They also are likely to include direct action assaults on facilities to sabotage the weapons, or to prevent the weapons from being stolen, or set off at the sites by the North Koreans.
A defense official said U.S. commandos in the past have trained for covert operations against several types of nuclear facilities, including reactors and research centers. Scale models of some North Korean weapons facilities have been built in the United States for practice operations by commandos.
Additionally, the Korean Times reports that China is advising its citizens in North Korea to come back home “amid concerns” that the U.S. could launch a preemptive strike against the country:
The embassy began sending the message on Apr. 20, five days before the North celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army with a show of military power, Radio Free Asia said Tuesday.
The U.S.-based station specializes in North Korea.
The station cited a Korean-Chinese living in the North’s capital, who said he left for China late last month after the embassy contacted him.
He said he has been visiting China every two to three months but, after being told he should “stay in China for a while,” left North Korea a month early.
“The embassy has never given such a warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry,” said the man, whose name was withheld.
The man went onto say that most Chinese in North Korea are ignoring the message, but that may be due to the “peaceful nature” of Pyongyang, despite the bubbling crisis.