Tags: North Korea | north korea | james clapper | options | red line

Clapper: 'Our Options Are, In Fact, Limited' Against North Korea

(CNN)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 August 2017 09:01 AM

The United States has few options in handling issues with North Korea's missile launches and rhetoric from regime leader Kim Jong Un, according to James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence said on CNN Tuesday.

"This may be the first time I've ever agreed with Mr. Bannon, but our options are in fact limited," Clapper said in response to an Aug. 16 quote from then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who said, "There's no military solution, forget it."

Clapper said there must be a distinction between a pre-emptive military solution, and a military solution as reaction to damage from a North Korean missile. "If there were kinetic damage done by a North Korean missile, I think, at least implicitly, that would be our red line."

"The problem . . . is we don't know what their red line is," Clapper said, referring to North Korea. "Whether they would just react in kind, or pause, or an all-out cataclysmic attack against the South (Korea). And that's what makes it such a difficult problem," the former intelligence director added.

The "carrot of negotiations" and the "stick of sanctions" are the best way to proceed now, Clapper said.

In a statement Tuesday in response to North Korea launching a missile over Japan, President Donald Trump said "all options are on the table."

Trump's change in tone on North Korea earned praise from Clapper during the CNN interview.

"What this helps to do . . . is where we avoid this vicious circle we have gotten ourselves in, where the North Koreans do something provocative, then we step up the rhetoric, which causes them to be even more paranoid and they generate another provocative act. One way to tamp that down is to tamp our own rhetoric down."

Earlier in August, Clapper said that getting North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons is not likely. "That is their ticket to survival," Clapper said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Aug. 13.

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The United States has few options in handling issues with North Korea's missile launches and rhetoric from regime leader Kim Jong Un, according to James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence said on CNN Tuesday.
north korea, james clapper, options, red line
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2017-01-30
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 09:01 AM
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