U.S. Said to Treat North Korea as Nuclear Adversary in Contingency Plans

Global Security Newswire Staff
April 25, 2014, 7:41 a.m.

In its con­tin­gency plan­ning, Wash­ing­ton for the first time is treat­ing North Korea as a nuc­le­ar-armed op­pon­ent, the New York Times re­por­ted on Thursday.

Spe­cif­ics about the most re­cent re­vi­sion of the “OpPlan 5029” strategy for a po­ten­tial new Korean War are clas­si­fied. Some uniden­ti­fied of­fi­cials talked to the news­pa­per about as­pects of the “what-if” scen­ari­os, which ima­gine a pos­sib­il­ity for Py­ongy­ang to build a simple atom­ic weapon and at­tempt to de­liv­er it by ship or truck.

The de­vel­op­ment comes as Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies in East Asia stead­fastly re­fuse to char­ac­ter­ize North Korea as a nuc­le­ar-armed state.

U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials do not think Py­ongy­ang has de­veloped the abil­ity to mini­atur­ize nuc­le­ar arms enough to fit on a bal­list­ic mis­sile. The North, however, could make head­way in that re­spect if it test-det­on­ates a fourth atom­ic device — as ap­pears in­creas­ingly likely.

Be­hind closed doors, Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials are ac­know­ledging the long­time policy of “stra­tegic pa­tience” to­ward North Korea has been un­suc­cess­ful, the Times re­por­ted.

“We have failed,” Evans Revere, a former seni­or of­fi­cial for East Asi­an is­sues in the George W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, said in an in­ter­view. “For two dec­ades our policy has been to keep the North Koreans from de­vel­op­ing nuc­le­ar weapons. It’s now clear there is no way they will give them up. … So now what?”

A re­cent at­tempt by the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil to de­vel­op a new plan for end­ing the North Korea nuc­le­ar im­passe came up empty when it was de­term­ined that all oth­er po­ten­tial policy de­vi­ations were worse than the cur­rent pos­ture, ac­cord­ing to the Times.

“We’re stuck,” said one in­di­vidu­al who took part in the re­view.

A move by ruler Kim Jong Un to fo­cus more on mo­bile mis­siles in­stead of sta­tion­ary ones has meant the United States has a harder time de­tect­ing when a mis­sile fir­ing is im­min­ent. The launch­ers are routinely moved between tun­nels, mak­ing them harder to mon­it­or by satel­lite, de­fense of­fi­cials said.

“He’s gone to school on how we op­er­ate,” said Army Gen. Curtis Scapar­rotti, who com­mands U.S. forces on the Korean Pen­in­sula.

What We're Following See More »
BRIEFER THAN TRUMP’S?
Clinton to Receive Classified Briefing on Saturday
0 minute ago
THE DETAILS
FHFA RULES APPLY
Judge: Freddie Mac Doesn’t Have to Open Its Books
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."

Source:
MANY BEING TRADED ON BLACK MARKET
Pentagon Can’t Account for 750k Guns Provided to Iraq, Afghanistan
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."

Source:
SINCE JANUARY
Baltimore Is Spying on Its Residents from the Air
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Since the beginning of the year, the Baltimore Police Department" has been using a Cessna airplane armed with sophisticated camera equipment "to investigate all sorts of crimes, from property thefts to shootings." The public hasn't been notified about the system, funded by a private citizen.

Source:
COST HAS RISEN 400%
EpiPen Prices Draw Scrutiny from Congress
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The cost of EpiPens have risen 400% since 2007, and members of Congress increasingly want to know why. Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Mylan, which makes the allergy injection devices, on Monday. “Many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid, and therefore, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication," he wrote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) "called earlier for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into the pricing and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission."

Source:
×