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Stavridis: North Korea Could be World's 'Most Dangerous Country'

Stavridis: North Korea Could be World's 'Most Dangerous Country'

Admiral James G. Stavridis (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

By    |   Friday, 09 September 2016 08:05 PM

North Korea is growing the capacity to launch ballistic missiles from submarines, and over time, the country's forces could come close enough to the coasts of the United States, retired Admiral James Stavridis, now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said Friday.

"That may be coming a lot quicker than we think," Stavridis, who now advises Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign on national security matters, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

The idea is, in addition to the eventual move toward militarization, we really had to be exploring the cybersphere here," Stavridis said. "There are things we can do that are short of an invasion . . . this is, in my view, the most dangerous country in the world very shortly, if not already."

Stavridis had been working as an adviser and correspondent on MSNBC, but has put that aside for now to work with Clinton's campaign, and is participating today with her foreign policy team to discuss terrorism. He said Friday morning he was sure the topic of North Korea and a nuclear test the country conducted this week will come up.

Meanwhile, North Korea's submarine fleet remains very small and is diesel-powered, so it has a limited range. But, he warned that over time, diesel battery technologies will improve and he will not rule out North Korea eventually being able to reach the United States.

"At the moment, it's not a significant, long-range diesel capacity, but it's coming," he warned.

Stavridis, speaking out about GOP nominee Donald Trump's call for building a wall at the Mexican border, to get out of NATO, and his statements about nuclear weapons overseas, could add "dangerous amount of tensions" on international challenges.

"The way to solve these kinds of problems is with international cooperation, and it's getting the private sector working with the public sector," Stavridis said.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign relations and a frequent program panelist, commented that China has tolerated North Korea, but the idea of the United States working with South Korea and Japan could one day force the end of North Korea's separate existence.

"Whether China will finally step up and start making sure their border guards so nothing moves in and out, they can do that," he said. "They can put enormous pressure on North Korea, [but] they have chosen not to. It's the old line about Germany back during the Cold War: We like Germany so much we are glad they are two of them . . . maybe now see the danger of a separate North Korea."

Also on the program, Stavridis addressed Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin's leadership skills, noting that Putin's invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea are troubling.

"It's created this kind of pervasive difficulty, a challenge of kind of stumbling back toward a Cold War," he said. " Secondly, his support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria is extremely problematic. This is a genocidal dictator who violates human rights on an hourly basis. And then, thirdly, you have to look at the way that Vladimir Putin is using the cybersphere, not only here in the united States, but throughout much of the western world to undermine behavior there. Very dangerous."

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North Korea is growing the capacity to launch ballistic missiles from submarines, and over time, the country's forces could come close enough to the coasts of the United States, retired Admiral James Stavridis, now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts...
north korea, most dangerous, china, south korea, japan
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2016-05-09
Friday, 09 September 2016 08:05 PM
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