by Robert Carbery
As we barrell toward World War III with North Korea, our CIA is briefing President Trump on the multiple scenarios and risks involved in a limited attack on the hermit nation on the Korean Peninsula, according to CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.
Pompeo would not discuss the “wisdom of a preemptive strike” on Pyongyang or other nuclear weapons facilities at a gathering at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). However, Pompeo discussed North Korea as one of the most urgent priorities for the agency and the current administration.
“Kim is a rational man,” Pompeo said, in accordance with CIA’s assessment. Still, it is not clear whether or not Kim Jong-Un realizes the ramifications that would come to be by attacking the U.S. with a nuclear strike. A devastating nuclear war could occur, involving the U.S., China, and Russia.
Pompeo would not drill down on questions surrounding Trump’s propensity to attack North Korea preemptively after the unprecedented slew of nuclear weapons tests over the last year. However, many analysts warn that even a limited strike on the communist nation would spark a prolonged retaliation and subsequent retaliation from the South and its allies. This cannot happen. But something needs to change.
“We’re working to prepare a series of options to make sure that we can deliver a range of things so the president will have the full suite of possibilities. The president is intent on delivering this solution through diplomatic means,” Pompeo also told AEI, specifically Marc Thiessen. This has to be done diplomatically. We cannot run the risk of WW3. And it appears Trump’s words and actions have resulted in the North and South talking for the first time in many years.
“We are equally at the same time ensuring that if we conclude that is not possible, that we present the president a range of options to achieve what is his stated intention,” Pompeo continued in the AEI interview, which was accurately described as the denuclearization of North Korea, he clarified that the administration seems prepared to assume that risk.
However, denuclearization seems untenable under current conditions, to say the least. A former spy in North Korea told NBC News that Trump’s goal of denuclearizing a country that has been building up its nuclear arsenal over the last decade is not something that is achievable. He went on to say, “North Korea won’t give up its nuclear weapons. They’re its lifeline.” And why would they at this point? They have what they need: a ballistic nuclear missile capable of reaching the U.S. homeland (even Hawaii and Guam!). Holding onto their nuclear weapons is their only and best form of self-defense from the hordes of interventionists and word policemen that are primarily made up of American troops.
President Trump has surely talked tough and that has resulted in the two Korean nations talking for the first time in quite some time. Still, in October, Trump said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” in trying to attempt the Korean crisis in a peaceful manner. A simple negotiating tactic? Trump later said in August that any North Korean provocation would be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Pompeo also told CBS News on Monday that North Korea was a “handful of months” away from having the capacity to deliver a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile to the U.S. Sorry Mike, but we are already there. The CIA and others still think we can somehow keep them away from that kind of capability despite North Korea already showing us that they are already there, surpassing our intelligence agencies’ best data on the matter.
And yet, the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea throughout the next month. Fears are spreading that this event could become a showdown between Trump and Kim. However, the U.S. military is taking many steps to prepare for anything that might go down, readying for a range of possibilities from a special operations force strike to full-on war on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea is apparently participating in the Olympics, which South Korean President Moon Jae-in describes as a monumental opportunity to ease tensions between the two disparate nations sharing a heavily armed border. As stated before, significant talks are occuring between the two nations. Earlier in January, the two Koreas met for their first diplomatic talks in two years, with the U.S. excluded.
Still, the threat to the U.S. is real and very present. The missile strike threat call that went out in Hawaii could have very well been the real thing. Why did it take them almost forty minutes to correct it if it was a simple user error? Is Kim a rational actor after all? Or is he merely waiting for his moment to strike?
“We do believe that Kim Jong Un, given these tool sets, would use them for things besides simply regime protections—that is, to put pressure on what is his ultimate goal, which is reunification of the peninsula under his authority,” Pompeo said, ultimately adding: “This is a threat to the whole world.”
A threat to the whole world? We’ll see, Mike. For now, it seems that President Trump and his administration are having some success in the diplomacy department. Or am I just drunk? Let me know…
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