United States Director of the Joint Staff Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. during a press briefing at the Pentagon on May 31 stated that taking down small islands is a core competency of the US military.
During the press briefing Lieutenant General McKenzie said the US military takes both threat from North Korea and China seriously.
“We know China has a much larger nuclear capability, and you’ve got to take that into account. China has a much larger economic engine that you have to take into account. So the threats are very different,” he said. “In North – when you consider North Korea, the first thing you look at is their capricious and unpredictable behavior spanning back several decades.”
When asked about the US military’s capability to blow apart one of the man-made islands, McKenzie said “I would just tell you that the United States military has had a lot of experience in the Western Pacific, taking down small islands.”
“We have a lot of experience, in the Second World War, taking down small islands that are isolated. So that’s a – that’s a core competency of the US military that we’ve done before,” he explained.
“You shouldn’t read anything more into that than a simple statement of historical fact,” he added.
He added that the US will continue to conduct freedom of navigation operations as allowed by international law and we’re going to continue to do the things that we’re doing.