Tags: North Korea | james stavridis | north korea | guam | missile

Stavridis: US Remains at 'Very Dangerous Moment' with NKorea

Image: Stavridis: US Remains at 'Very Dangerous Moment' with NKorea
Admiral James Stavridis (Panayiotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 August 2017 12:44 PM

Even though North Korea appears to be pulling back from its plan to launch missiles at Guam, that does not mean the danger of military conflict has passed, retired Admiral James Stavridis said Tuesday.

"We're at a very dangerous moment, frankly," Stavridis, the dean of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy and Law at Tufts University, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I don't think we're headed into a war this morning, but we are closer than we were four or five days ago, unfortunately."

On Tuesday, North Korea's state media said leader Kim Jong-un has delayed his decision on Guam so he can watch the actions of the United States a while longer.

Kim, making his first public appearance in about two weeks, inspected the command of the North's army on Monday, including a plan to land four missiles near Guam.

Monday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said, in no uncertain terms, that if North Korea fires on the United States or Guam, that would be considered an act of war, and Stavridis said he agrees with the tough warning.

"Gen. Mattis is doing what he should, which is to convey directly that launching missiles at a U.S. territory is tantamount to U.S. war," Stavridis said. The things to watch are the movement of the carrier battle groups. If you start to see our carriers flooding the zone, moving towards North Korea, if you see more surface ships with those Tomahawk missiles moving, we would also be doing cyber activity, we're kind of setting the table at this point."

Stavridis said he hopes that Kim follows the "correct course of action here, which is to stand down at the idea that he's going to launch missiles at the United States."

The United States and South Korea will launch a large, 10-day joint military exercise this month, but that should not be construed as a signal to North Korea.

"This is a standard set of procedural exercise training that's done between the two countries," said Stavridis. "It's on an annual basis for a big one. We do lots and lots of them in between the events. Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs was in Seoul over the weekend. This is business as usual."

Stavridis also discussed the events of the weekend in Charlottesville and President Donald Trump's initial response, saying it was "inexplicable" to him that Trump did not identify white supremacist groups by name, after they "disgraced our nation" with their actions.

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Even though North Korea appears to be pulling back from its plan to launch missiles at Guam, that does not mean the danger of military conflict has passed, retired Admiral James Stavridis said Tuesday.
james stavridis, north korea, guam, missile
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2017-44-15
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 12:44 PM
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