North Korea, United States closer to war than ever: former US military chief

The United States is now closer than it has ever been to a nuclear war with North Korea, a former top US military officer warned Sunday, saying he saw little prospect of a diplomatic solution.

Published: 01st January 2018 09:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2018 09:30 AM   |  A+A-

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Photo | AP)

By AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States is now closer than it has ever been to a nuclear war with North Korea, a former top US military officer warned Sunday, saying he saw little prospect of a diplomatic solution.

Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, attributed the rising danger to Donald Trump's "incredibly disruptive" presidency.

"And in my view, an incredibly dangerous climate exists out there in that uncertainty with how this all ends up," he said on ABC's "This Week." "One in particular that is top of the list is North Korea."

"We're actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been," he said, adding, "I don't see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point."

Mullen, who served as the top US military adviser to both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, questioned whether Trump can be constrained by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster or White House chief of staff John Kelly.

"Will he follow through on his rhetoric? Or will we actually be able to get to a situation where it could be solved peacefully?" Mullen asked.

"I'm just more inclined to see over time that the rhetoric seems to be where the president is, and that will limit the constraining ability that both Jim Mattis and H.R. McMaster and John Kelly have," he said.

Trump warned in a speech to the UN General Assembly in September that the United States "will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" if forced to defend itself or its allies.

In August, he vowed to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States or its allies.

Pyongyang conducted its sixth nuclear test September 3 and, despite escalating sanctions, on Nov. 28 it test-launched an intercontinental missile capable of striking the United States.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who warned Sunday of a sharp increase in the risk of pre-emptive attack if North Korea conducts any more tests, said Trump had decided early on to deny North Korea the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

"2018 will be a year of opportunity and extreme danger," Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"Now, the Iranians are watching the way he engages with North Korea, and vice versa. So we've got a chance here to deliver some fatal blows to really bad actors in 2018. But if we blink, God help us all."



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp