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Obama mulled preemptive attack on North Korea: book Updated: 2018-09-12 09:54:40 KST


"Fear: Trump in the White House", a book released on Tuesday by journalist Bob Woodward is in the spotlight, for its revelations on what could have been a preemptive strike on North Korea.
According to Woodward, former U.S. President Barack Obama mulled a preemptive attack on the communist state after its fifth nuclear test in 2016.
Woodward writes that Obama was deeply disturbed to learn North Korea had conducted its biggest-yet nuclear detonation on September 9th, 2016, with the North claiming the nuclear bomb could be mounted on a ballistic missile, which could hit the U.S. mainland.
He added the former President posed a sensitive question to his National Security Council, if it was possible to launch a preemptive military strike, supported by cyber attacks on the North, to take out the regime's nuclear and missile programs.
The book also revealed what would could have happened, if the U.S. did go ahead with a preemptive strike,, citing an intelligence assessment which showed a U.S. attack could not wipe out everything North Korea had.
The CIA noted "there would be lost targets because they did not know about them and partial destruction of other targets."
A month long study by U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon reported to Obama that "perhaps 85 percent of all known nuclear weapons" would be destroyed.
This, according to Woodward, is why Obama decided against the preemptive attack.
Meanwhile, the book also says President Trump took out his anger on South Korean President Moon Jae-in as he pummeled the allies' trade and security relationship.
It added Moon and Trump spoke by phone on January 19th, one day before the U.S. president marked his first year in office.
During that conversation, Woodward says Trump told his South Korean counterpart that he wanted to send a letter terminating the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, and demanded payment for the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system to South Korea.
Experts say the book's revelations could hurt the Trump administration's efforts to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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