Ground invasion to stop North Korea 'the only way' - Pentagon

North Korea, War
Rear Admiral Michael Dumont (right) made the comments on behalf of the Pentagon. Photo credit: KCNA/ US Navy

Pentagon officials say the only way to stop North Korea's nuclear programme would be a ground invasion that would disarm the rogue nation of its power.

According to reports, the claim came after two US congressmen asked for an evaluation of the human cost of a war with North Korea as tensions heighten between the two nuclear powerhouses.

"The only way to 'locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes is through a ground invasion," Rear Admiral Michael Dumont said in a statement on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

North Korea, Pyongyang
Kim Jong-un assessing a military parade in Pyongyang. Photo credit: Getty

Rear Admiral Dumont added while calculating the cost of human life would be difficult he said there is a possibility that chemical and biological weapons could be used by North Korea in a war.

There are no good military options for North Korea - congressmen

Following that bleak assessment by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congressman Ted Lieu released a statement alongside other lawmakers and war veterans to warn of the dangers of war.

US, War
Ted Lieu is a congressman from California. Photo credit: Getty

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff has now confirmed that the only way to destroy North Korea's nuclear arsenal is through a ground invasion," the statement reads.

"That is deeply disturbing and could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting.

"As Veterans, we have defended this nation in war and we remain committed to this country's security. We also understand that entering into a protracted and massive ground war with North Korea would be disastrous for US troops and our allies."

Head to head: The military might of the United States and North Korea

According to CNN, 2017 Index of US Military Strength and International Institute of Strategic Studies here is what both countries bring to the table in terms of military power.

United States:

  • Military personnel - 1.3 million (across Army, Air Force and Navy)
  • Combat aircraft - 3400
  • Tanks & armoured vehicles - 20,617
  • Major naval vessels - 203

North Korea:

  • Military personnel - 1.13 million (across Army, Air Force and Navy)
  • Combat aircraft - 545
  • Tanks & armoured vehicles - 24,600
  • Major naval vessels - 75

US President Donald Trump's is currently on his first trip to Asia and started off in Japan where he met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend.

Mr Trump will also visit China, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines during his 12 day trip.