US Army chief: 'No risk-free options' on North Korea

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After his keynote speech at the Association of the United States Army conference, Mattis was asked, "what can the USA military do to lessen the likelihood of conflict on the Korean Peninsula?" Trump was expected to send a significant message to North Korea, either verbally or "kinetically", during his first trip to the peninsula as USA commander-in-chief, the source said.

Mattis added that Washington's current strategy is a "diplomatically led, economic sanctioned, buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off its path".

"Now what does the future hold?"

"Mattis then urged the North to change its attitude, saying that all the countries in the world want Pyongyang to deal with the U.S. State Department rather than the Department of Defense".

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US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will hold a strategic dialogue with South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-han on October 18.

As Kim has accelerated his nuclear weapons program and aimed increasingly bellicose threats at the allies, those plans have been updated to include "beheading operations" - strikes created to take out North Korea's leaders.

Responding to reports about the plans for decapitation strikes, the North's Korean People's Army said in March that it would "deal deadly blows without prior warning" to "the US and South Korean puppet forces".

In recent weeks, the american president has, among other statements, threatened to "destroy totally" the North Korea, but several of his ministers to ensure that their side continue to give preference to diplomatic channels to resolve this crisis. He said, "I'm not going to address the specifics of that discussion but what I will tell you is that it is a ROK-US alliance commitment to make sure that they safeguard operations and plans".

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North Korea has been found responsible for a number of high-profile attacks over the years, and is still technically at war with the US and South Korea.

The United States fought a bloody conflict in Korea from 1950-1953 that ultimately ended in stalemate and the continued division of the peninsula after hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops entered on the side of the north, turning it into a war of attrition.

The Army said in a manual released Monday that it will seek to put greater emphasis on cyber options in what it calls hybrid war - a blurring of cyber and space operations with traditional military actions like mobilizing ground troops and massing tank units.

There were "no risk-free options" when it came to North Korea, the general added, but said the danger it poses should not be underestimated. According to Kaspersky, the Lazarus hackers carefully routed their signal through France, South Korea and Taiwan to set up that attack server.

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