The National Security Council has presented President Trump with options to respond to North Korea’s nuclear program — including putting American nukes in South Korea or killing dictator Kim Jong-un, multiple top-ranking intelligence and military officials told NBC News.
Both scenarios are part of an accelerated review of North Korea policy prepared in advance of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.
The White House hopes the Chinese will do more to influence Pyongyang through diplomacy and enhanced sanctions. But if that fails, and North Korea continues its development of nuclear weapons, there are other options on the table that would significantly alter U.S. policy.
The first and most controversial course of action under consideration is placing U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea. The U.S. withdrew all nuclear weapons from South Korea 25 years ago. Bringing back bombs — likely to Osan Air Base, less than 50 miles south of the capital of Seoul — would mark the first overseas nuclear deployment since the end of the Cold War, an unquestionably provocative move.
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