In view of the recent vote by the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on North Korea but prior to the release of reports that they have likely developed a warhead capable nuclear device, the point is raised that the last time the UN imposed sanctions, against Iran in 2010, it took 90 days for them to determine if the sanctions were “necessary.”
Essentially, with that record of dawdling in the face of an urgent problem, North Korea has more time to manipulate and develop, and a potential temporary amnesty of sorts, as their adversaries might be reluctant to engage in the use of military force when sanctions were already being “put into motion.”
General Tom McInerney offers his views, having spent much of his career in the Pacific, in the heart of the very area where the tensions are escalating. He’s asked if he believes North Korea has the ability to strike American cities and if Kim Jong-un is serious in his threats.
McInerney does not believe they can strike the US mainland at this point but that within a year they will be able to, saying, “He’s made rapid progress” and the US needs to take this issue seriously. In answer to the second part of the question, McInerney says, “I don’t think he really understands what he just said.”
General McInerney says, “Now what I would tell them is, ‘Mr. Kim Jong-un, if one round of artillery goes into Seoul, Korea, you will get our full nuclear retaliatory capability. There will not be a city left in North Korea. You will be finished; read my lips.'”
The host asks, “Don’t we have to back that up and that would include the deaths of many, many, many civilians. Should we be prepared for that?” McInerney responded by saying, “I don’t know if you fully understood what I said. If he gets our full nuclear retaliatory capability within minutes after one round going into Seoul, there will be nothing left.”
He says, “He will not last fifteen minutes and he can’t put enough artillery into Seoul in ten to fifteen minutes and it’s going to be over. Because our weapons can hit his artillery pieces. If you think of 2,000 cruise missiles in the air, Liz, and if you think of our full nuclear retaliatory capability, then there’s not going to be anything left of North Korea in fifteen minutes – completely. And I’d make sure he understood that.”
She asks, “Do you think the Trump administration is ready to put that kind of muscle behind those words?” The General replies, “Well, I think if you look at the options of trading San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles for that, I think they will.” He says 12 years in the Pacific taught him that the willingness to respond with overwhelming force is the only thing North Korea, China or the Russians respect or understand.
McInerney recommends specific actions to be taken in preparation, saying “Start doing those things now, to lead turn the problem that you said, it’s not going to be until November, til we see the real impact, to start lead turning this. We do not have a year left.”
He adds, “This President was left the worst geopolitical situation for the United States since before World War ll.”
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