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Perry: Diplomacy the Only Alternative to a Disastrous Military Operation Against North Korea

Nov. 29, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper yesterday published a lengthy interview with former Secretary of Defense William Perry, in which he says that the situation regarding North Korea is much more dangerous now than it was when he was dealing directly with Pyongyang in the 1990s. He partially attributes this to the George W. Bush Administration (2001-2009), which repudiated the agreements that the Clinton Administration had reached with North Korea.

"Discussions and negotiations with North Korea are the only reasonable alternative to what could turn into a disastrous military operation,"

he said. Kim Jong-un’s objective, Perry said, "is preserving the Kim dynasty, sustaining the regime. That’s what he’s all about. And he has succeeded in doing that."

Their second objective, he went on, "is to earn international respect and recognition." He said that this is what he had in mind when he was negotiating directly with Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un’s father, in 1999-2000—i.e., how North Korea could get that respect and recognition without nuclear weapons. Today, Perry said, that negotiation would be much more difficult because now the regime has nuclear weapons whereas it didn’t in 1999.

"So, we have to have very powerful incentives, to even get them to talk about doing it, to talk about freezing it, stopping it at some level, and then start working back,"

he said. "That’s a very tough negotiation."