Time is Running Out for the United States To Address the North Korean Nuclear Threat

December 14, 2017

For more information, contact: Maya Carlin, email: mcarlin@centerforsecuritypolicy.org, office phone: (202) 719-2420. Cell phone: (516) 319-3395


Center for Security Policy Issues Occasional Paper:

“Time is Running Out for the United States to Address the North Korean Nuclear Threat”

(Washington, D.C.): Today, the Center for Security Policy released an Occasional Paper on the growing threat from North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and difficult decisions that President Trump must make concerning North Korea that could cause – or prevent – a cataclysmic war.

The author of this important paper is the Center for Security Policy’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs, Fred Fleitz. Mr. Fleitz explains in this concise paper the dilemma of determining whether North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles should be considered a defensive measure by North Korea to prevent a U.S. attack, or whether they represent an offensive force that Pyongyang plans to use one day to unite the Korean peninsula on its terms and drive the United States from the region.

Fred Fleitz, a career intelligence professional with decades of service at the CIA, State Department and House Intelligence Committee, critically examines the case for considering these WMD programs as North Korean deterrence that the United States and the world can live with and the high cost of a possible North Korean counterattack in response to military action by the United States. Mr. Fleitz also analyzes the failed record of multiple Democratic and Republican presidents in dealing with North Korea and how Pyongyang repeatedly manipulated multilateral negotiations to extract concessions while making commitments to curtail its nuclear and missile programs that it failed to meet.

Mr. Fleitz argues that North Korea’s surging missile programs – that will soon include nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States – and its nuclear arsenal of an estimated 60 weapons is now too large to be considered simply a deterrent. Fleitz believes North Korea’s biological and chemical weapons programs pose a similar threat. He also reports that North Korea and Iran may be collaborating in their nuclear weapons programs. Fleitz therefore believes these North Korean WMD programs constitute an offensive force and a serious proliferation threat that are too dangerous for President Trump to kick down the road as was done by previous presidents. For this reason, Fleitz argues that the president needs to consider the limited use of military force to halt the development of its WMD programs and to compel North Korea to agree to negotiate in good faith to halt them.

Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney said about Fleitz’s paper:

“In his new Occasional Paper for the Center, Fred Fleitz draws a fateful conclusion no one wants to contemplate: that the United States soon may need to use military force to halt North Korea’s offensive nuclear and missile programs. This is an important read given the usual calls by the mainstream media and the foreign policy establishment – including by Secretary of State Tillerson – for new talks to appease North Korea. Fleitz makes a compelling case that time has run out on such further appeasement of Pyongyang in the hope of postponing the need to deal with North Korea’s WMD threat. We hope this analysis will help guide crucial policy discussions that are now under way in the White House and Congress.”

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About Fred Fleitz

Fred Fleitz, Senior Fellow. Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff. During the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Fleitz was chief of staff to John Bolton, then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. During his tenure with the House Intelligence Committee, he was the staff expert on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and briefed key National Intelligence Estimates on these issues to committee members. After he left government in 2011, he founded and served as Director of the Langley Intelligence Group Network (LIGNET), Newsmax Media’s global intelligence and forecasting service. Fleitz is a regular commentator on Secure Freedom radio and has appeared on the Fox News Channel. Mr. Fleitz is the author of Peacekeeping Fiascoes of the 1990s (Praeger) and is working on books on intelligence reform and the Iranian nuclear program. Mr Fleitz holds an MA in Political Economy from Fordham University and a BA in Politics from Saint Joseph’s University.