Pre-emptive War With North Korea Would Be ‘Catastrophic’- Susan Rice

By Eli Watkins

Former national security adviser Susan Rice said Thursday the United States should rule out a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, casting President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” comments as dangerous.

susan rice

“A pre-emptive war, if one were actually thinking of executing that, would be catastrophic,” Rice said on CNN’s “Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
She said the “hot rhetoric” coming from both Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could move the nations closer to war.
Rice, who was US ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama before becoming his top national security aide, said the United States should instead continue to rely on deterrence, the threat of a swift and massive military response should North Korea move to attack the United States or its allies, as a way to dissuade North Korea from attacking.
She said the President had articulated the logic of deterrence in his comments earlier Thursday. “The core of what President Trump said today, discounting for the rhetoric, was if North Korea were to attack the United States, and obviously Guam is part of the United States, we would respond with the full force of our capabilities,” Rice said. “That’s common sense. That’s deterrence. And that’s the appropriate approach.”
However, she said Trump’s apparently improvised threat earlier in the week, that the United States would potentially respond to further North Korean threats and nuclear developments with unprecedented force, outlined a dangerous proposal.
On Thursday, Trump went further, saying his previous “fire and fury” remark was perhaps “not tough enough.” Rice said North Korea always reacts to outside pressure “with vitriol,” and warned Trump not to respond to Kim’s heated rhetoric in kind.
Last week, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to increase sanctions on North Korea, and Rice said those sanctions, paired with military exercises in the region, meant it was “almost inevitable” that Kim would make threats.
“We just can’t react to every statement or verbal provocation,” Rice said.
She added that the Trump administration had offered mixed messages, leaving it unclear where exactly the United States stood and what it would respond to. “I think the problem is nobody is clear what the red line is,” Rice said.

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