US cannot tolerate nuclear-armed North Korea: NSA HR McMaster

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New Delhi | Published: December 20, 2017 2:18:01 PM

The US cannot tolerate a nuclear armed North Korea, America's national security advisor has said.

US, North Korea, US President Donald Trump, NSA HR McMaster, Kim Jong-UnMcMaster said US President Donald Trump wants all nations to do more. (Reuters)

The US cannot tolerate a nuclear armed North Korea, America’s national security advisor has said, asserting that such a development would pose a grave security threat to the countries in the region and the world. President Donald Trump last month declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a move that allows the US administration to impose additional sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile which travelled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“I don’t think we can tolerate that risk. The world can’t tolerate that risk. I mean, if North Korea has a nuclear weapon, I mean, who are you going to try to prevent getting one? Look at the behaviour of this regime, the hostility of this regime to the whole world,” US National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H R McMaster told CBS News yesterday.

The United States, he said, is applying maximum pressure to North Korea to convince Kim Jong-Un that this is a dead end, this pursuit of nuclear weapons and an intercontinental ballistic missile — long range ballistic missile which of course poses a grave danger to the whole world.

“So what you’ve seen is an effort led by the President worldwide really though to isolate that regime, to cut off not just what is restricted by the current national — the current UN Security Council resolutions but to do more,” he said.

Trump has asked all nations to cut off all trade with this rogue regime which has never met a weapon it didn’t use or proliferate or sell to somebody else, the NSA said.

“You saw that with the cyber attacks you just discussed and you saw it with the murder of Kim Jong Un’s brother in a public airport with a banned nerve agent. So this is a regime that can’t get this – this destructive capability,” he said.

McMaster said Trump wants all nations to do more. It just doesn’t make sense that Russia would increase trade and alleviate any pressure on the North Korean regime.

“Of course, North Korea poses a grave direct threat to all nations including China and Russia, but what happens when North Korea gets this capability?

“What if other nations in the region arm in this way and that’s going to be even more destabilising and of course, as I mentioned, North Korea has never met a weapon it didn’t try to sell to somebody else,” McMaster said.

Responding to a question, McMaster said this is not the time to hold talks with the North Koreans.

“What he means is, there can’t be negotiations under these current conditions. The north has to show initial steps toward denuclearisation and the reason for this is previous approaches to negotiating with North Korea have failed miserably,” he said.

“What the regime does is they enter into negotiations, all the while they continue these very destructive programmes, these talks often times end in a weak agreement and then North Korea immediately violates that agreement.

“The problem is now that their programmes have advanced so far we don’t have time to do that again and so we can’t repeat the failed pattern of the past,” the top official said.
McMaster said Russia and the US should cooperate on North Korea.

“There’s no way that a nuclear armed North Korea is in Russia’s interest and the President made that clear to President (Vladimir) Putin on the phone call,” he added. PTI

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