Tags: North Korea | Trump Administration | mcmaster | nkorea | trump

McMaster: Trump 'Will Not Tolerate' Threats From NKorea

(MSNBC)

By    |   Saturday, 05 Aug 2017 01:09 PM

President Donald Trump "will not tolerate" North Korea being able to threaten the United States, and all plans will need to be considered when working to keep that from happening, including a military option, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview airing Saturday.

"Look at the nature of that regime," McMaster, a U.S. Army lieutenant general," told MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt in an interview, which was recorded earlier this week. "If they had nuclear weapons that can threaten the United States, it's intolerable from the president's perspective. So, of course, we have to provide all options to do that, and that includes a military option."

It's impossible, though, to "overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime" such as that of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said McMaster, when Hewitt asked if Americans should be concerned that war with North Korea is imminent.

"I mean, he murdered his own brother with nerve agent in an airport," said McMaster. "I mean, think about what he's done in terms of his own brutal repression of, not only members of his regime, but his own family."

The United States, though, would rather resolve the issues of North Korea's aggressions  "short of what would be a very costly war" that would cause suffering of "mainly the South Korean people," said McMaster, pointing out that North Korea could hold the South "hostage" to its weapons capabilities as Seoul is so close to the border.

"We're cognizant of all of that," he told Hewitt. "What we have to do is everything we can to pressure this regime, to pressure Kim Jong Un and those around him so that they conclude it is in their interest to denuclearize."

McMaster also would not confirm a report last month that other officials have confirmed the intercontinental ballistic missiles tested by North Korea could reach any point in the United States.

"Really, whether it could reach, you know, San Francisco or Pittsburgh or Washington, how much does that matter, right?" said McMaster. "It's a grave threat."

Trump came away from his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping with three key factors that marked a change in how the United States has tried to work with China in the past concerning North Korea, said McMaster.

First, he said, North Korea and Kim, if armed with nuclear weapons, threatens not only the United States, but its allies, including Japan, South Korea, and China, said McMaster.

"The goal of working together with them cannot be the so-called freeze for freeze, where we freeze our training and then they freeze their program, because they're at a threshold capability now," said McMaster. "Freeze for freeze doesn't work anymore, right?  It's intolerable."

In addition, McMaster said, the meeting resulted in China acknowledging that it has "tremendous coercive economic influence" against North Korea.

As a result, said the lieutenant general, the United States is prioritizing, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the lead, an effort to work with the Chinese. 

"We also, though, have to be prepared to walk down a path that assumes not as much help from China as we would like," said McMaster.

Meanwhile, McMaster said, the "[Korean] war never formally ended" and the Korean Peninsula has been "in a state of armistice" since 1953.

However, he is not sure that the North Korean regime's behavior would change even if Kim were removed from office.

"What is clear is that it is an authoritarian dictatorship that has existed since the end of World War II," he said. "It's now in its third generation, and there's a difference in this third autocratic ruler in that he's as brutal as the previous two have been, but he's doing some things differently. He's killing members of his own family, even."

War, though, is impossible to predict, so it's important to look at a range of estimates about what could happen, McMaster said.

"War is the most serious decision any leader has to make," he told Hewitt, "and so, what can we do to make sure we exhaust our possibilities, and exhaust our other opportunities to accomplish this very clear objective of denuclearization of the peninsula, short of war."

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President Donald Trump "will not tolerate" North Korea being able to threaten the United States, and all plans will need to be considered when working to keep that from happening, including a military option, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview...
mcmaster, nkorea, trump
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2017-09-05
Saturday, 05 Aug 2017 01:09 PM
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