North Korea risks severe retaliatory strike if it fires a nuke

May 28th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 28 (ANI): Former President Reagan’s defence adviser and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, Graham Allison, has warned the North Koreans of the consequences they face should they consider firing a nuclear missile - or selling nukes to terrorists.

According to Allison, if North Korea’s next act goes beyond launching another long-range missile, or conducting a nuclear weapons test, it could expect an overwhelming retaliatory strike.

But Allison simultaneously adds that any leader who ordered the North Korean attack would be committing national suicide.

The US-Japanese Mutual Defence Treaty and US-South Korean Alliance commit the US to extend its “nuclear umbrella” to protect these allies. An attack upon either of them would be equivalent to an attack upon the United States itself.

During the Cold War, the American strategists developed the doctrine of “nuclear deterrence” by credibly threatening a retaliatory response that assured destruction far in excess of any gains the Soviets could have hoped to achieve.

Despite sharp reductions in US and Russian arsenals, both today retain sufficient nuclear capabilities for an array of contingencies, including any North Korean attack.

Over the past two decades the US has also developed significant non-nuclear capabilities that would allow it to mount an overwhelming retaliatory response to a North Korean attack without having to use American nuclear weapons. The good news is that at least for the next several years, North Korea will not be technically capable of delivering a nuclear warhead on a missile. (ANI)

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