Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter says a U.S. preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program could prompt the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, to try to invade South Korea.
Carter, who served as defense secretary in the Obama administration, told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week” Sunday that if the U.S. preemptively strikes North Korea, “It’s quite possible that they would as a consequence of that launch … attempt an invasion of South Korea.”
“I’m confident of the outcome of that war, which would be the defeat of North Korea,” Carter said. “But, Martha, I need to caution you, this is a war [with] … an intensity of violence associated with it that we haven’t seen since the last Korean War.”
“Even though the outcome is certain, it is a very destructive war,” the former defense secretary said, noting that the South Korean capital of Seoul, with about 25 million area residents, is on the border between the two countries. “So one needs to proceed very carefully here.”
Carter’s comments come as President Trump is set to meet this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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