Ex-IDF Intelligence Chief: US preemptive strike on N.Korea an option

If US President Trump were to attack in North-Korea, he would need to ensure the country would not retaliate, warns IDF former Intelligence Chief.

September 3, 2017 15:57
1 minute read.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. military personnel at Naval Air Station Sigonel

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. military personnel at Naval Air Station Sigonella following the G7 Summit, in Sigonella, Sicily, Italy, May 27, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI)


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United States President Donald Trump could attack North Korea preemptively, Former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said in an interview on Israeli radio on Sunday.

But Yadlin added that Trump “[would need] excellent military intelligence” to carry out a preemptive strike, as “the counter strike might reach South Korea and Japan."

“The question is if the US has the military intelligence that will enable it to destroy North Korean nuclear capacities in a preemptive strike,” said Yadlin. “The entire topic of a military strike is complex. If after an [American] attack a missile will be launched against him [Trump] then the attack makes no sense.”

Yadlin, now the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), went on to compare the realities of Iran and North Korea, warning that they are very different.

“Unlike the situation in Iran in which Saudi Arabia and Israel encourage the US to act, South Korea and Japan understand the price a preemptive strike might cost them so they caution the US to show restraint.”

“The [US] Secretary of Defense [James Mattis] said that a war against North Korea is a type of war that has not been waged in decades,” stressed Yadlin. “He understands the meaning of such a war so he serves as a cautionary element working with a president who says that all options are on the table.”

The reactions to these threats must thus be adjusted accordingly.

“Iran is 20 years behind North-Korea,” he said. “The issue of Iranian nuclear capacities will be relevant towards the end date
of the nuclear agreement which will enable it to gain nuclear capacities in a short span of time.”

Yadlin claimed Israel has top-notch military intelligence regarding Syria and wide ranging capabilities to deal with the threat.

“I think that our begging [attitude] towards the Americans and the Russians to carry out the work we don’t want to do on our own is a little embarrassing,” said Yadlin.

“The state of Israel has capacities and it can draw red lines for itself.”

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