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Korean Peninsula conflicts will be trans-regional fights: U.S. JCS chief

A conflict on the Korean Peninsula will no longer be limited to the peninsula as North Korea has developed ballistic missile, cyber and other capabilities, the top American military official said Monday.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford made the remark during a defense conference, stressing that the U.S. should be prepared to fight "trans-regional, multi-domain and multi-functional" conflicts.

"If you would have thought about the Korean Peninsula some years ago, you would have thought about a conflict that we would have hoped to isolate on the Korean Peninsula. And then as the North Koreans developed ballistic missile capability, well, obviously that's started to affect other regional actors such as Japan," the general said.

"So no longer could you hope to isolate a conflict on the peninsula," he said. "As you start to look at intercontinental ballistic technology, cyber capabilities, space capabilities, information operations and so forth, it's pretty hard to see how even a regional conflict would actually be anything other than trans-regional, multi-domain and multi-functional."

Dunford also said he believes the U.S. planning or organizational construct in our command and control "is not really optimized for that fight," but he did not elaborate. (Yonhap)