Former Defence Secretary William Perry told CNN’s Christiana Amanpour that “North Korea, while they’re evil, are not crazy” and that they would not seek to carry out a nuclear first strike on South Korea, Japan, or any US forces stationed there.
Perry, who as the Pentagon chief under President Bill Clinton pushed for the US to strike North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear facilities in 1994, now says that military action against North Korea no longer makes sense, and that North Korea wouldn’t dare strike first.
“I do not believe that the North Korean regime is suicidal. Therefore I don’t believe they’re going to launch an unprovoked nuclear attack on anyone,” said Perry.
Perry said that while the situation with North Korea is “unfortunate,” he would not support a strike on North Korea today, since the Hermit Kingdom has a secretive, spread out nuclear arsenal that the US couldn’t hope to knock out before they got a shot off.
“This would be an action that would precipitate a catastrophic nuclear war,” said Perry of a possible US first strike.
In Perry’s view, North Korea is more like jihadists — fanatical ideologues who are still thinking somewhat strategically.
“They are not seeking martyrdom,” Perry said of North Korea. “They’re not suicidal.”
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