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MARCH 2021

US Considering Nukes in South Korea to Counter Pyongyang Threat – Report


The US National Security Council has proposed Donald Trump to deploy nuclear weapon in South Korea and kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in response to a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

US Considering Nukes in South Korea to Counter Pyongyang Threat – Report

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) at a meeting with experts in nuclear weapons research (KCNA / Reuters)

The US National Security Council has handed over to US President Donald Trump a report on possible responses of the US to a nuclear threat from North Korea, the NBC television network reported, citing several sources in the Pentagon and US intelligence services. According to the television network, the options include a murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea.

The both scenarios are part of a plan for an accelerated revision of North Korea’s policy, which was prepared before a meeting of Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida.

The White House hopes that China will be able to more actively influence the policy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) through diplomacy and expansion of sanctions. However, if this does not stop the country’s authorities from building up North Korean nuclear capabilities, the US can proceed to fundamentally different steps.

The US withdrew nuclear weapons from South Korea 25 years ago, after the end of the Cold War. In the case of a re-return of the weapons to the peninsula, the country’s authorities can place it on the Osan base, located 80 km from Seoul.

A senior intelligence official, who participates in discussion of the ideas, admitted that he did not advocate “pre-emptive war,” and the deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea could turn out to have big consequences for the US. He stressed that it was unlikely that US and Chinese interests coincided in order to reach a compromise solution.

“I don’t think that [deploying nuclear weapons] is a good idea. I think that it will only inflame the view from Pyongyang. I don’t see any upside to it because the idea that we would use a nuclear weapon even against North Korea is highly unlikely,” former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, retired Adm. James Stavridis, told NBC.

Other sources of the television network said that the US does not need to deploy nuclear weapons in South Korea. Washington can conduct military exercises, using strategic bombers, on the peninsula or on the territory of Guam to demonstrate its own strength.

The US National Security Council also proposed Trump to kill DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and his closest associates, who have access to nuclear weapons. However, most of experts interviewed by the TV-channel, including military, spoke out against such a step.

In addition, an idea of dispatching the special forces from the US and South Korea to North Korea is also being discussed. Reportedly, these forces could carry out various combat missions, including undermining bridges to stop movement of mobile systems. A representative of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which can control this operation, said that he had “no guidance” on this option.

In the middle of the week, the Pentagon reported that Pyongyang had launched the KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile. According to US military, the missile flew 60 km. The next day, the Yonhap information agency reported, citing sources in the South Korean Defense Ministry, that in response Seoul also had conducted tests of its own ballistic missile with a range of 800 km. According to the authorities of South Korea, the launch was successful.



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