Moderator Andrea Mitchell interviews Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chairman Joseph Dunford Saturday, July 22, 2017, during the Aspen Security Forum at the Aspen Institute, in Aspen, Colo. (Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times via AP)

ASPEN, Colorado — Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested Saturday that Americans must be prepared for the possibility of a military confrontation with North Korea, whose nuclear program he deemed an urgent threat.
Although he stressed the importance of applying continued economic and diplomatic pressure aimed at persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arms program, Dunford dismissed the oft-stated notion that a military option shouldn’t be on the table.
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“Many people have talked about military options with words like ‘unimaginable,'” Dunford said. “I would probably shift that slightly and say it would be horrific, and it would be a loss of life unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes, and I mean anyone who’s been alive since World War II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
“But as I’ve …