Report: US mulling 'limited strike' on North Korea

US officials discuss military strike on North Korea as North Korean and South Korean representatives meet for first time in over two years.

Chana Roberts ,

North Korea parades ICBM
North Korea parades ICBM
Damir Sagolj/ Reuters

US officials are examining the possibility of conducting a limited attack against various sites in North Korea, without igniting a general war in the Korean peninsula, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Talks between North Korea and South Korea began on Monday night, with representatives of the two countries meeting face-to-face for the first time since December 2015.

In addition, North Korea is expected to send athletes to the Winter 2018 Olympic games in South Korea.

The Wall Street Journal journalist Gerald Seib explained that the goal would be to give North Korea "a bloody nose," while avoiding anything strong enough to start an all-out war.

"US officials are debating whether it's possible to mount a limited military strike against North Korean sites without igniting an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula," Seib said. "The hope would be to make that point without inciting a full-bore reprisal by North Korea. It's an enormously risky idea, and there is a debate among Trump administration officials about whether it's feasible."

Seib did, however, admit that North Korea could choose to "escalate in retaliation to even a single strike."

In December, a former US official said, "Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious."

On Sunday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said North Korea must cease nuclear tests before the US will agree to talks.

She also praised the talks between North Korea and South Korea, saying, "Those two countries have to get along. That's good for the United States that they can at least start getting back into talks," Haley said Sunday.