April 18, 2017
The US military is considering shooting down North Korean missile tests as a show of strength to Pyongyang, two sources briefed on the planning told the Guardian.
As tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threaten confrontation in north-east Asia, the Pentagon is looking for ways short of war to pressure North Korea into denuclearization, particularly if Pyongyang goes forward with an anticipated sixth nuclear test.
The option, which defense secretary James Mattis has briefed to Congress, has yet to mature into a decision by the military to intercept a tested missile.
One US official said the prospective shoot-down strategy would be aimed at occurring after a nuclear test, with the objective being to signal Pyongyang that the US can impose military consequences for a transgression Donald Trump has said is unacceptable.