07 November, 2017
However, a case of a ground invasion could likely prompt North Korea to deploy biological and chemical weapons.
The Pentagon made the assessment in a letter to two House members who asked about "expected casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea", including civilians and USA troops in South Korea, Japan and Guam, according to the daily.
Despite stark rhetoric over North Korea's nuclear and rocket tests, US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he believed North Koreans is "a great nation", DPA reported.
In a joint statement issued Saturday, 15 Democratic lawmakers and one Republican- all military veterans - called the assessment that a ground invasion would be required to destroy the North's nuclear arsenal "deeply disturbing" and that such an action 'could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting'.
"(The government) plans to push to reinforce exchange, cooperation and strategic cooperative partnership with China by reinvigorating high-level personnel exchange, including (President Moon Jae-in's) top-level visit to China by the end of this year and the Chinese leader's South Korea visit next year", Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha said in a report submitted to the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee.
The US administration is considering putting North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism amid growing demands from several US senators, who had mandated a congressional deadline for the State Department to take a decision.
South Korea's spy agency said last week that North Korea may be preparing another missile test, raising speculation that such a launch could be timed for Trump's 12-day visit to the region.More news: Tourists to be banned from climbing Australia's most famous attraction
Addressing the USA military personnel stationed at the Japanese air base, Trump warned "no one, no dictator, no regime. should underestimate American resolve".
The Pentagon said that calculating "best- or worst-case casualty scenarios" was challenging and would depend on the "nature, intensity and duration" of a North Korean attack; how much warning civilians would have to get to the shelters in South Korea; and the ability of US and South Korean forces to respond to North Korean artillery, rockets and missiles.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) during a news conference at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on November 6, 2017.
Trump is seeking to ratchet up pressure on Pyongyang following a visit to Tokyo, where he said on Monday that America was working to counter North Korea's "dangerous aggressions" and talked about Japan being able to shoot North Korean missiles "out of the sky" once it completes purchases of US military equipment. It's a big problem for our country and the world, and we want to get it solved, ' he said.
In the United States military the Joint Chiefs of Staff directly advise the President on military matters.
The claim was made in September by a retired Air Force general who said the figure was estimated based on a conventional war scenario and did not include potential use of nuclear weapons.
Before Trump's presidency, many in South Korea and the United States regarded the deal as a key pillar of their alliance. "Now is the time not for dialogue but for applying a maximum level of pressure on North Korea".