“The threat is much more immediate now and so it’s clear that we can’t repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past,” McMaster saidduring a security conference with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “The President has directed us to not do that and to prepare a range of options, including a military option, which nobody wants to take.”
“What we have to do is prepare all options because the President has made clear to us that he will not accept a nuclear power in North Korea and a threat that can target the United States and target the American population.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently indicated how seriously President Trump views the standoff with North Korea.
“I hardly ever escape a day at the White House without the President asking me about North Korea and how it is that the United States is responding to that threat,” he said during an interview with MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt. “It’s very much at the top of his mind.”
McMaster’s comments come one day before President Trump is set to meet with recently-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who appears to be backing away from his past advocacy for a softer approach towards North Korea.
“Together we will achieve the dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear program, peace on the Korean Peninsula and eventually peace in Northeast Asia,” Moon said.
“There’s recognition that there has to be more pressure on the regime. I think what you’ll see in coming days and weeks are efforts to do that,” McMaster suggested.
A dispute over America’s recent deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) system to South Korea is likely to be on the agenda during the talks.
Moon’s government delayed its deployment, ordering an environmental review before allowing more launchers for the system.
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