Bruce Klingner, the former chief of the CIA’s Korea division, has returned from a South Korea visit at which he warned there is widespread worry among top officials, and “very strong concerns” that the US is liable to unilaterally attack North Korea soon.
This concern comes amid both recent reports that the Trump Administration is debating a “bloody nose” attack on North Korea, and also reports that recent US military exercises are gearing up specifically for such a strike.
South Korea has insisted several times in the past year that they believe they have a “veto” over the US launching a first strike on North Korea, though US officials have not confirmed if they consider that to be the case anymore.
Given the casualties in a new Korean War would be overwhelming, South Korea is very opposed to such an idea, and doubly so because recent diplomacy has eased tensions quite a bit, and has them convinced North Korea can be reasoned with. Convincing the US of that, however, may be at another degree of difficulty.
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