WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a bid to take out North Korea before it can attack the United States, U.S. officials are planning a preemptive strike upon the rogue nation’s main nuclear reactor, according to a leading expert.
Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korean military expert at South Korea’s Sejong Institute, told the Korea Times (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/04/103_227326.html) that Pyongyang is likely planning a 6th nuclear test that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants carried out before April 25th. The urgency is reportedly in response to the escalating war of words between Jong-un and American president Donald Trump, who has vowed to stop the dictator before he can launch a nuclear strike against the United States.
“The U.S. could also throw a precision strike at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center to prevent North Korea’s further advancement of nuclear capability,” said Seong-chang.
The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, located 90km north of Pyongyang, is North Korea’s main nuclear facility and has long been the concern of U.S. military officials.
“If the U.S. attacks the Yongbyon facility, it will open the curtains to the worst-case scenario — nuclear war — as North Korea could attack South Korea’s nuclear plants or Seoul using nuclear weapons,” said said Seong-chang. “China would certainly disagree with the U.S. attacking North Korea. China would withhold its engagement in the military conflict as long as the Kim Jong-un regime does not collapse so that it does not have to clash with the U.S. Japan will support the U.S. in attacking North Korea because it needs American support as it tries to beef up its imperial military force.”
On Tuesday, North Korea warned U.S. officials that they are prepared to launch a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression as a U.S. Navy strike group barreled toward the Korean peninsula on the orders of president Donald Trump.
“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland,” read a statement from Jong-un in the nation’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
Also on Tuesday, Trump, who met late last week with China’s president Xi Jinping, tweeted that if North Korea was “looking for trouble” the United States would “solve the problem” with or without Beijing’s help. North Korea has long been known as one of China’s strongest and most loyal allies.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent well wishes to North Korea in recognition of Kim Il Sung’s birthday and said the two countries were “conducting a war against big powers’ wild ambition to subject all countries to their expansionist and dominationist policy,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency said.
Trump, during his summit with Jinping, ordered a military strike upon a Syrian airbase following a gas attack on Syrian civilians that intelligence indicated was done on the order of Assad.
In a separate release by the North Korean government on Tuesday, a KCNA statement read: “We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions. The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US.”
North Korea’s foreign ministry said of the approaching U.S. Navy strike group that the order to enter the Korean peninsula showcased Washington’s “reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase”.