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Joint Chiefs: invasion 'only way' to totally disarm North Korea

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BBC News

A Pentagon assessment has declared the only way to completely destroy all parts of North Korea's nuclear weapons programme is through a ground invasion.

Rear Admiral Michael Dumont expressed the opinion on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a letter to Congressman Ted Lieu.

Mr Dumont said calculating "even the roughest" potential casualty figures would be extremely difficult.

He also gave some detail on what the first hours of a war would involve.

"The only way to 'locate and destroy - with complete certainty - all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons programs' is through a ground invasion," he wrote in response to Congressman Lieu's questions about a potential conflict.

The risks involved included a potential nuclear counter-attack by North Korea while US forces attempted to disable its "deeply buried, underground facilities", he said.

"A classified briefing is the best venue for a detailed discussion," he added.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff directly advise the president of the United States on military matters.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41878123