Kim regime will be over if it launches nuclear attack: U.S.

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Kim regime will be over if it launches nuclear attack: U.S.

WASHINGTON - The United States vowed Friday to bring an end to North Korea’s regime if it launches a nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies.

The warning came in the latest Nuclear Posture Review unveiled earlier in the day. The document, the first since 2010, will dictate U.S. nuclear policy and related budget planning for the next five to 10 years.

“Our deterrence strategy for North Korea makes clear that any North Korean nuclear attack against the United States or its allies and partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of that regime,” the 74-page document says. “There is no scenario in which the Kim [Jong-un] regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive.”

The statement is based on the premise that North Korea’s ultimate aim is regime survival.

“North Korean officials insist that they will not give up nuclear weapons, and North Korea may now be only months away from the capability to strike the United States with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles,” the review says. “Its expansive nuclear and missile programs suggest the potential for nuclear first use in support of conventional operations.”

Last year Pyongyang conducted three tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the mainland U.S., as well as its sixth nuclear weapons test. The threat it poses to the U.S. and its allies has become “urgent and unpredictable,” especially coupled with its existing chemical, biological and conventional capabilities, and “extremely provocative rhetoric and actions,” according to the report.

“Consequently, the United States reaffirms that North Korea’s illicit nuclear program must be completely, verifiably and irreversibly eliminated, resulting in a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons,” it says.

The review also highlights the risk of North Korea selling its nuclear weapons and technology to other state and non-state actors. The regime’s nuclear program also increases the pressure on other nations to build their own nuclear arsenal in order to defend themselves from a nuclear attack, it points out.

“We will hold the Kim regime fully responsible for any transfer of nuclear weapons technology, material or expertise to any state or non-state actor,” it says.

Meanwhile, the United States and its allies maintain the defensive and offensive capabilities to intercept and otherwise defeat the North’s missile capabilities, according to the report.

“Although North Korea’s missile forces are expanding and increasingly mobile, U.S. and allied missile defenses are increasingly capable against North Korea’s missile threat, and the United States has the early warning systems and strike capabilities necessary to degrade North Korean missile capabilities prior to launch,” it says. “We will continually improve these defensive capabilities as needed to stay ahead of North Korean missile threats if they continue to grow, while also taking steps to preclude an arms race with China or Russia.”

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