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US General Vincent Brooks warns North Korea: ‘Self restraint is all that separates us from war’

After North Korea’s launch of an ICBM, that demonstrated ability to strike the continental United States…General Vincent Brooks, Commander of Combined Forces Command and General Lee, Sun Jin, Chairman of the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a stern warning to the North Korean regime.

The allied forces are prepared for war at any time, with only “self restraint and patience” holding back an all out assault on North Korea…

“Self restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war. As this Alliance missile live fire shows, we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our Alliance national leaders,” said Gen. Brooks. “It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary.”

“Despite North Korea’s repeated provocation, the ROK-U.S. Alliance is maintaining patience and self-restraint,” said Gen. Lee. “As the combined live fire demonstrated, we may make resolute decisions any time, if the Alliance Commanders in Chief order. Whoever thinks differently is making a serious misjudgment.”

Zerohedge reports that the statement was issued after allied armies conducted a rare live-fire drill, launching tactical surface-to-surface missiles off the east coast of Korea—an action they said was aimed directly at “countering North Korea’s destabilizing and unlawful actions on July 4.”  The drill and tough language appeared meant to reassure Seoul after North Korea’s successful ICBM test, a significant advance.

The Wall Street Journal reports that despite the warning from top US military command, Seoul has a population 10 million people, and is located 35 miles south of the North Korean border…meaning any military action by the North would almost certainly result in devastating casualties.

Washington has considered military action against North Korea, but pulling the trigger presents serious risks. Seoul, a city of 10 million, sits just 35 miles from the North Korean border, where Pyongyang has assembled artillery that could inflict devastating damage on the densely populated South Korean capital.

“A single volley could deliver more than 350 metric tons of explosives across the South Korean capital, roughly the same amount of ordnance dropped by 11 B-52 bombers,” said a report published last year by Austin, Texas-based geopolitical consultancy Stratfor.

If attacked by the U.S., North Korea would also likely fire on U.S. ally Japan, which is within range of many of Pyongyang’s missiles. During one launch in March the North fired four missiles at once toward Japan, which some analysts interpreted as a warning that it could overwhelm any Japanese missile defense.

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