Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reported that the chance of a US war with North Korea is “increasing every day,” warning that the US is in a “race” to solve the problem.
The implication of McMaster’s comments are that the US feels itself increasingly approaching a point where they intend to just attack North Korea outright. McMaster’s other comments about “taking care of” North Korea unilaterally reflect that reality.
North Korea is not, after all, expected to attack anybody itself, with the nation continuing to try to reach a point of deterrent capability where a US attack becomes for all intents and purposes impossible. The question then becomes whether the US will attack North Korea before such an attack stops being possible.
But the other question is, given North Korea’s increasing missile capabilities and nuclear development, whether the North Koreans already have a deterrent retaliatory capability that would preclude a US attack. McMaster’s comments seem to suggest the US still considers attacking an option, but doing so will doubtless lead to the deaths of many millions of people.