President Donald Trump said the nuclear threat from North Korea was over despite having completed little to no work on actual denuclearization.
The US was headed to war with North Korea over their long range missile tests, and Trump getting North Korea to halt the tests stopped it, an Obama admin official told Business Insider
Trump’s joint statement with North Korea paid lip service to denuclearization, which the US’s Asian allies wanted, but the real success of the meeting may have been getting North Korea to freeze testing.
South Korean media now reports North Korea is getting ready to destroy an ICBM engine testing facility.
President Donald Trump left the Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and declared the nuclear threat from Pyongyang over without even getting close to a concrete denuclearization process from North Korea.
But in doing so, Trump may have been heeding a warning from former President Barack Obama and stopping a possibly nuclear war with North Korea in the process.
“Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!” Trump tweeted.
In November 2016 when President-elect Trump visited Obama in the White House, news outlets widely reported that Obama told him that North Korea would be his biggest threat, and Trump seems to confirm that here.
But the threat from North Korea wasn’t its simple possession of nuclear weapons. North Korea first demonstrated nuclear capability in 2006, and had nukes throughout Obama’s entire presidency, but Obama responded only with “strategic patience.”
Instead, according to former US ambassador to Turkey, James Jeffrey, who worked for Obama, the warning centered around North Korea getting missiles that could strike the US, something US intelligence officials estimated would happen during Trump’s term.
“A nuclear strike capability against the US changes the entire strategic equation in a way that just having nukes that can be exploded in South Korea and Japan does not,” Jeffrey told Business Insider.
“It decouples the US deterrence and retaliation capability against any North Korean attack.”
Basically, if North Korea has missiles that can hit the US, then it can ask Washington a terrifying question: Will you trade Seattle for Seoul?
The US has, for years, said its alliance with South Korea and Japan are “ironclad,” but according to Jeffrey, that’s diplomatic speak that masks a dark truth everyone already knows: The US would not take a nuclear attack from North Korea on the chin to save an allied city.
The US planned to attack North Korea if their tests continued
So, as former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster posited, having an ICBM would allow North Korea to attack South Korea without the US stepping in.
An ICBM “changes any attempt by North Korea to reunify the peninsula,” said Jeffrey. Kim “can undertake a military or political pressure campaign on South Korea and America’s …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Politics