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Woodward Book Stirs Controversy over Nuclear Weapons against North Korea

Sept. 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—In Seoul, South Korea, Bob Woodward’s book Rage is creating a stir over what Woodward writes about U.S. policy on North Korea. According to Reuters, Woodward wrote that the United States had devised plans for a possible armed clash with North Korea, such as “the U.S. response to an attack that could include the use of 80 nuclear weapons.” The passage fueled debate in South Korea over whether it meant Washington or Pyongyang would detonate 80 bombs against each other.

The South Korea Defense Ministry said on Tuesday (Sept. 15) that its joint operational plans (OPLAN) with the United States did not include any use of nuclear weapons, reiterating the view of the South Korean presidential office. “I can say clearly that the use of a nuclear weapon does not exist in our OPLANs, and it is impossible to use military force without our agreement,” a presidential official told reporters.

President Donald Trump reportedly said in an interview with Woodward on Dec. 13, 2019 that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “was totally prepared” to go to war with the United States but that it was averted because of their first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit in June 2018. When Woodward asked whether Kim told Trump directly about his readiness to go to war, the president said, “Ah, yes, he did,” according to the book.

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