‘N. Korea builds up nukes & military in fear of US intervention’
Pointing to the overwhelming US military advantage over North Korea, Gagnon said it is unlikely Pyongyang wants a direct military confrontation with a prevailing power, arguing that its nuclear program is a response to Washington’s rampant military activity.
“I don’t believe North Korea intends to start a war. North Korea has four nuclear warheads, while the United States has 6,800 nuclear warheads and the US routinely tests nuclear missiles from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, firing them into the Pacific.”
Besides, Washington’s missile defense systems stationed in the region are challenging the security not only of North Korea but also of Russia and China, he added.
He went on to say that the war between North Korea and the US is “still legally on” as no formal peace treaty has ever been concluded since the end of the hostilities in the 1950s.
With no clear guarantees to its security, Gagnon argues the intention by Pyongyang to enhance its military capability, including building a nuclear deterrent, is quite understandable.
“As long as the United States refuses to sign a peace treaty and refuses to end its war games on the North Korean border, what is North Korea to do other than continually trying to build up their military because they fear the US will attack them at some point,” he said, adding that the fears are not groundless, as the US is known for a long history of military interference.
Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria are among the latest victims of such policy by the US, Gagnon said.
“So, clearly North Korea is doing this as a defensive measure,” he said, referring to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program development.
Describing the prospects of all-out war erupting between the countries as “very frightening,” Gagnon called on the American people to appeal to their leaders to come to their senses and stop ratcheting up tension “before it’s too late.”
“We are talking here about the possibility of a nuclear war: millions of Koreans, Japanese would be killed, American soldiers in both those countries by the tens of thousands would be killed in such a war,” he said.
Given the proximity of North Korea to Russia and China, there is a real risk of the conflict turning into a disastrous global war, he warned.
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump doubled down on his warning to North Korea to respond with “fire and fury” if Pyongyang continues its saber-rattling. On Wednesday, the North Korean military revealed details of a plan to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam, saying it is ready to fire four missiles to land within 30-40km from the US territory if Kim Jong-un approves the plan to be submitted to him by mid-August.
Speaking to reporters at his Bedminster, New Jersey resort, Trump warned Pyongyang that it will “be in trouble like few nations have ever been,” adding that it should be “very, very nervous” in case it decides to go forward with any military adventure against the US.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.