Perry to Bush—Pre-empt North Korean Launch

With North Korea nearing its first test launch of a ballistic missile that could strike within the US, Clinton Administration defense chief William J. Perry is calling for a pre-emptive strike to target that long-range missile on its pad. In a Washington Post op-ed, Perry joins with Ashton Carter, his assistant secretary for international security policy, to write: “Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to US soil? We believe not. … Intervening before mortal threats to US security can develop is surely a prudent policy. … If North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. … Diplomacy has failed, and we cannot sit by and let this deadly threat mature.”