In an interview released today, President Obama expressed doubt that North Korea had even the theoretical capability of launching nuclear attacks, but insisted the US was militarily prepared to stop any launches they attempted.
This comment reflects on an apparent divide in US intelligence, with the DIA claiming North Korea “probably” has such a capability and civilian intelligence officials saying they doubt it.
The timing of Obama’s interview, apparently recorded early Monday, is also likely responsible for his claim that the US is “open to talks” with North Korea, provided the nation backs down from the current rhetoric.
That’s certainly not what the State Department was saying by late last night, with Secretary of State John Kerry ruling out any talks with North Korea, saying the nation should unilaterally disarm first and then the US might conceivably reconsider. Kerry had offered talks in similar language to Obama on Sunday night, however, so this may have been the sense at the time.
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