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Pyongyang's threat: Nuclear games(manship)

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Sunday, May 11, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

North Korea appears to have the ability to launch nuclear warheads atop ballistic missiles that can reach the United States. Yet the Obama administration, bent on eliminating nuclear weapons, downplays that growing threat.

Sounding the alarm in the journal Comparative Strategy is National Institute for Public Policy scholar Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon strategic analyst and policy official. He writes that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) last year publicly expressed “moderate confidence” that North Korea has nuclear warheads for its ballistic missiles. But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other administration officials maintain its nuclear-strike capabilities are untested or limited.

In the wake of Mr. Schneider's report, the DIA director and his deputy resigned over “disputes within the Pentagon and intelligence agencies,” according to The Washington Free Beacon. That's hardly a promising sign that this administration is dealing properly with Pyongyang's missile threat and increasingly bellicose rhetoric.

“The Obama administration's ‘nuclear zero' ideology does not impress North Korea,” Schneider says. “Indeed, it may have precipitated the unprecedented nuclear attack threats from North Korea.”

President Obama must recognize how his nuke-free policy fantasies magnify the all-too-real threat that Kim Jong Un poses — and change course to deter North Korea from attempting to devastate an American city with a nuclear missile.

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