Tags: North Korea | michael morell | north korea | nuclear program

Michael Morell: 'No Good Options' Against NKorea's Nuclear Program

("CBS This Morning")

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 08:39 AM

There is "no good option" to end North Korea's nuclear program, former acting and deputy director of the CIA Michael Morell said Tuesday, while discussing a claim made by Kim Jong Un's regime to have tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday.

"There is no military option here to destroy his nuclear program, his missile program," Morell, now a senior national security contributor for CBS News, commented on the "CBS This Morning" program.

"There is no option to do that that wouldn't start a second Korean War and wouldn't raise the possibility of him using nuclear weapons against his neighbors."

Kim has short range missiles and "a lot more time" to make a nuclear weapon to top them, Morell continued, making risks "extraordinarily high" if a military standoff would take place.

There is also "virtually no diplomatic action" that can be taken, as there is "no way he will ever negotiate away his nuclear weapons program," said Morell.

"So there's very little you can do except sanction him every time he does something and build our missile defense as we're doing in South Korea, in Hawaii, in California, in Alaska to defend ourselves. That is about all we can do in the situation we face here. There are no good options."

South Korea's military is working, along with the United States to determine whether North Korea really test-fired an ICBM, or whether the missile was another mid-range weapon.

Cho Han Gyu, director of operations at South Korea's joint chiefs of staff, said in a televised briefing that the missile's range was improved over an intermediate-range one fired on May 14.

"It will take several days for the intelligence community to make an assessment on whether this was an intermediate range or an ICBM," Morell said. An intermediate range missile would not be able to reach targets in Alaska or Hawaii, while an ICBM would, he explained.

Meanwhile, Kim has had "a history" of committing provocative acts, including missile tests on July 4, and his first nuclear test which was done on July 4, 2006.

"He seems to think it has a particular psychological impact on us, doing something on July 4," said Morell.

"Obviously, it does not. It gets less news than he would like on July 4. At the CIA, we used to joke that the only thing doing this on July 4 does is ruin the holidays of a lot of intelligence analysts."

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There is "no good option" to end North Korea's nuclear program, former acting and deputy director of the CIA Michael Morell said Tuesday, while discussing a claim made by Kim Jong Un's regime to have tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday.
michael morell, north korea, nuclear program
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2017-39-04
Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 08:39 AM
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