North’s nuke threat has grown, says MullenNorth Korea is more likely to use a nuclear weapon now than in the past due to the “very, very unpredictable” leadership of Kim Jong-un, a former top U.S. military official said Sunday.
Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed that concern during an interview on ABC television’s “This Week” when asked if the use of nuclear weapons looks possible in the future.
“I don’t know. I think it’s more probable than it used to be,” he said. “And it scares me to death, quite frankly. They’re the most dangerous weapons in the world. And certainly if we have someone in North Korea that has a lethal legacy, is very, very unpredictable and sees this as a way to solidify his future, that he could, well, not just attain them but potentially use them.”
Mullen partly blamed the exchange of heated rhetoric between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump. The two leaders have threatened to destroy each other’s nation and traded personal insults.
“I worry there is more uncertainty than there was a year ago, in principle because of the rhetoric that is there,” Mullen said.
Still, he noted the Trump administration has addressed the issue “from day one,” and is “very serious” about creating options to handle the threat.
“It’s still a very difficult place to know what’s actually going on,” Mullen said, referring to North Korea. “I think Kim Jong-un is really working hard to achieve the nuclear capability. And I think he’ll get there short of some deterrence.” North Korea tested its first long-range missiles capable of reaching the American mainland in July. It then tested its sixth and most powerful nuclear device in September.