Tags: North Korea | michael hayden | north korean | nukes | us | policies | change

Michael Hayden: North Korean Nukes Will Reach US If Policies Don't Change

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 11:48 AM

North Korea will be able to reach Seattle with a nuclear weapon by the time President-elect Donald Trump finishes his first term in office, if the United States remains "consistent with our current definition of acceptable risk," former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday.

"Now the question becomes what's our definition of acceptable risk?" Hayden told MSNBC's Morning Joe" program. "Do we want to change that? You can break right. Be tougher on the North Koreans ... these are serious people. You have this option of breaking right and doing some things covertly that break the hold of the regime on the population. That's very dangerous."

Several presidential administrations have tried to put a halt to North Korea's nuclear ambitions, but Hayden said it hasn't happened because North Korea believes, "and probably correctly, that they will not survive without being a nuclear power."

However, Hayden criticized China's policies toward North Korea, saying the Chinese are afraid of what would happen should it put more pressure on the country.

"The way I describe it, China knows this is a problem," said Hayden. "It's a toothache. It's a bad toothache. They rather not go to the dentist and have it fixed because going to the dentist will entail pain they don't suffer yet. Their policy is wrong too."

North Korea has conducted several nuclear tests, including a recent one in September, and continues to want the United States to stop its "hostile policies" toward them.

The policies concern the presence of American forces and the United States' policy toward "that part of the world in general."

Hayden said he's negotiated with the North Koreans, including in Geneva, and "they live in an alternative universe. The cognitive dissidence that has to go on in the mind of the North Korean negotiator to say some of the things they say is astonishing."

There are many options, according to Hayden.

"How about putting our weapons back into South Korea?" said Hayden. "How about giving it to the Japanese? How about nuclear capable ships showing up more frequently? All we need to say is it's not about you. It's about these guys. Sorry it's affecting you. It's about these guys. And maybe that kind of action begins to impress on the Chinese that that toothache is getting bad."

Hayden's comments came a day after former President George W. Bush, speaking at a forum at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, called on incoming President-elect Donald Trump's administration to avoid the "strategic patience" policies toward North Korea.

"North Korea represents a grave security threat," Bush said, reports Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA. "It shows how the proliferation of a deadly technology can allow small leaders, failed, cruel and criminal leaders, to threaten and disrupt the world on a grand scale."

Bush went on to call North Korea "one of the last Cold War conflicts" and the "last fortress of a kind of tyranny that is beginning to leave the earth. One such tyrant that left the earth happened last week, Fidel Castro. Like the North Korean leaders, he imprisoned his own people."

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North Korea will be able to reach Seattle with a nuclear weapon by the time President-elect Donald Trump finishes his first term in office, if the United States remains "consistent with our current definition of acceptable risk," former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday.
michael hayden, north korean, nukes, us, policies, change
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2016-48-30
Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 11:48 AM
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