A report from NBC News reveals that a report presented to President Trump on North Korea included several options for dealing with Kim Jong Un’s regime, including placing nuclear weapons in South Korea or killing Kim himself to eliminate the nuclear threat.
The report by the National Security Council signals the most significant move away from the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” on North Korea thus far under the Trump administration.
American forces withdrew nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula 25 years ago under the administration of George H.W. Bush. Moving them back to South Korea would mark the first deployment of nuclear warheads overseas since the fall of Russia and the end of the Cold War.
One senior intelligence official, while stressing that he didn’t necessarily believe that putting nuclear weapons in South Korea was a good idea, told NBC that the United States “was dealing with a ‘war today’ situation” with North Korea.
“”We have 20 years of diplomacy and sanctions under our belt that has failed to stop the North Korean program,” the official said.
“I’m not advocating pre-emptive war, nor do I think that the deployment of nuclear weapons buys more for us than it costs,” he added. But he said he did not think that China or America could come to a diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis.
However, one of our former ambassadors to Seoul said the South Korean public might support the deployment of American nukes.
“Some polls put it at well over 50 percent,” Mark Lippert, an ambassador in South Korea from 2014 to 2017, told NBC News. “It’s something that’s being debated, and support for it over time, at least at this point, is climbing.”
A third option, the report said, is covert action against North Korea, destroying infrastructure in the country via American and South Korean special forces.
U.S. Central Command head Gen. John Hyten, in testimony before Congress this week, also said that “any solution to the North Korea problem has to involve China.”
“I’m a military officer, not a State Department official or any economic expert. But I just look at the world, and it’s hard for me to see a solution without China,” Hyten said, according to The Hill.
Kim Jong Un has been used to “strategic patience,” so one can imagine Lil’ Kim’s reaction to this. It’s enough to make a dictator’s hair stand on end. Although, in his case, how can you really tell?
H/T The London Times
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