Retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney told Fox News on Monday that in the event of a nuclear attack from North Korea on the US or South Korea, Pyongyang has about 15 minutes to bask in its glory before the US flattens the entire country.
“If he gets our full nuclear retaliatory capability, within minutes after one round going into Seoul, there will be nothing left,” McInerney told Fox’s Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”
“If you go to Airborne Alert — we used to call it “Chrome Dome” — with nuclear weapons and then we start building up our other forces, et cetera, he will not last 15 minutes,” said McInerney.
The US Air Force commands both the ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are ready to go at any time, and nuclear-capable bombers. In the case of North Korea, the closest bombers are in Guam.
McInerney’s statement came just one day after a Defence Intelligence Agency report on the progress of North Korea’s nuclear program was leaked to the Washington Post. According to the report, the US now concedes that North Korea has the ability to miniaturize nuclear bombs and fit them on missiles, and they have about 60 such devices.
Based on the growing danger in the Pacific, the former general proposed a solution to Claman.
“I would form a political area treaty organisation, similar to NATO. I would have South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and other countries out there form a bulwark, not only against North Korean expansion but at Chinese expansion,” said McInerney.
“I would start moving in more THAAD missiles. I would put our nuclear retaliatory capability on ground alert … I would start increasing our naval and air forces in the region.”
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