In Thursday’s New York Times, Susan Rice, who served as National Security adviser under President Obama, made some interesting remarks about President Trump’s rhetoric toward North Korea
Trump’s recent statement that any new threats from the regime will be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” set the international community on edge. In response, North Korea wasted no time issuing such a threat, stating that they were considering striking Guam — which is a U.S. territory. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson backed up the president but also noted that “Americans should sleep well at night … nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours.”
In her piece, Rice noted that fiery rhetoric from Pyongyang is nothing new, writing “as ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration, I came to expect it whenever we passed resolutions.” Rice took issue with Trump’s red line statement, stating:
“Either [he] is issuing an empty threat of nuclear war, which will further erode American credibility and deterrence, or he actually intends war next time Mr. Kim behaves provocatively. The first scenario is folly, but a United States decision to start a pre-emptive war on the Korean Peninsula, in the absence of an imminent threat, would be lunacy.”
She wrote that the previous administration “carefully studied” the possibility of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and claimed that such an event would result in “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of casualties.” Seoul is only 35 miles from the border, and Rice noted, is home to 26 million people — including American troops.
The former national security adviser posited that “war is not necessary” and that “we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea.” She also stressed that it’s important to keep North Korea from becoming a legitimate nuclear power.
Rice closed her article by stating “Rational, steady American leadership can avoid a crisis and counter a growing North Korean threat. It’s past time that the United States started exercising its power responsibly.”