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Will Trump order North Korea strike in midterms?

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A US National Security Council (NSC) official has reportedly suggested that a limited preemptive strike on North Korea could help the Republican Party in the upcoming midterm elections -- a claim rebutted by the White House. reports citing AFP.

The alleged comment, which was sourced from a scathing opinion column published Friday by the South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh, was also tweeted by a Wall Street Journal reporter.

"Indeed, White House National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs Matthew Pottinger was reported as saying in a recent closed-door meeting with US experts on Korean Peninsula issues that a limited strike on the North 'might help in the midterm elections,'" read the English-translated version of the op-ed.

However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired back at the reporter, rejecting the claim by the Korean paper.

The alleged quote first appeared in an earlier article by the Korean newspaper's Washington correspondent, which cites a source as saying that Pottinger's suggestion was implied, and not a direct quote, according to Business Insider.

The Korean op-ed states that Pottinger said something "to the effect" that a limited strike on North Korea might help the Republicans' chances in the midterm elections.

The remarks come as some advisers to President Donald Trump have reportedly suggested limited military action against North Korea to give it a "bloody nose.”

A series of advanced missile and nuclear tests by North Korea last year prompted the US and its allies in the region to pile maximum pressure on Pyongyang.

Washington has engineered rounds of international sanctions on North Korea. It has also expanded the scope of its joint military drills with Seoul. Many fear that an all-out war could break out in the region as the North and the US have on a number of occasions threatened each other with nuclear attacks.

2018.02.04 / 16:59
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