Evaluating the real threat from North Korea
Retired Major Gen. Bob Scales weighs in
- Duration 6:25
- Date Mar 18, 2013
Retired Major Gen. Bob Scales weighs in
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Some -- any developments on growing tensions with North Korea as dictator Kim Jong-un continues his threats of a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States.
Now China the biggest ally of North Korea and its biggest trading partner.
Is now warning the United States about our plans to -- -- our own missile defense system.
-- Chinese Government spokesman telling the Chinese media quote.
All measures seeking to increase military capacities.
Will only intensify.
And will not help solve the problem.
Retired major general Bob scales serve five years in Korea over his time in the military that -- about three decades -- him on the right there.
He commanded artillery battalion that help protect -- key area along the DMZ where we still have.
Tens of thousands of Tracy joins.
-- -- general average tenure -- we -- a little something different about your service it's nice to have you get -- -- hey thanks yes it is younger -- tight sending just being on the ground can really influence your perspective.
On -- -- had an international issues tell us a little bit about how you're time impacts how you see what North Korea is doing now and China's comments as well.
Well I spent most of my time actually serving on the DMZ in various capacities as as assistant division commander battalion commander and -- a war -- So I understand probably more than most people what the motives of the north Koreans are what they're trying to do.
And what the real nature of the threat is from North Korea we oftentimes think of the the greatest threat big missiles.
That launch nuclear weapons and in fact the greatest threat as you -- -- -- Is the 5000 artillery pieces they have aimed at Seoul right now at a one point two million.
Man army that has something like 5000 tank so the north Koreans.
Have a very serious military fourth largest in the world in addition to nuclear weapons so they are a serious nuclear and a very serious conventional threat.
So how are you understanding.
The recent threats coming from that country not -- on South Korea have been on the United States as well.
Yeah this is about a little background quick background.
It's now march almost April and this is called the star -- season and North Korea if they have a particularly bad harvested in the spring time.
The rice begins to run out their -- begins to run out and people really begin to suffer so a lot of this is just.
Bluster and intimidation to try to get the western powers the United States Japan even South Korea to start ponying up cash and food.
To keep that country from collapsing in addition to that Jenna there's evidence to suggest there is an internal power struggle now going on between Kim jungle and and the senior generals and -- -- to show that he's got his.
His sort of hand on the throttled if you will when dealing with outside powers because North Korea really -- their own socio path that way.
Really believe they're under threat for the United States.
Let's talk a little bit about China's -- that begins now China's entering into this circle.
And reacting to the news that were going to put more interceptor -- in Alaska and California in response to North Korea's threats.
Why does China care.
Well first -- -- China's talking to the home country.
There are the only country addicted that could hold back North Korea right now quite frankly is trying to.
Because China supplies most of the food and fuel to North Korea will need in the coming months to survive.
The reason they're talking about missiles in Alaska is just try to ratchet up the dialogue these are purely defensive missiles they're only intended to shoot down the road missile fired from North Korea they're very effective at what they do -- by.
Doubling the number of missiles we make the West Coast of the United States more secure no this is just.
Chinese bluster and the message but the United States back -- try not to the State Department hopefully as though you need to talk to the actor who's going to cause all the mischief in that country and oh by the way if something terrible should happen.
The Chinese as well as the north Koreans would be affected.
How big of a risk do you think all of this bluster is.
To the tens of thousands of American troops that are on the ground -- still in South Korea.
Yes see that's really important -- because most of the media is focusing on the West Coast of the United States.
But remember we have 28000.
American soldiers in South Korea and their families.
And many of those folks are living in in the in Seoul and south was sold at various camps and stations and air bases.
And it's just a chip shot for the north Koreans to deliver.
-- either conventional or nuclear weapons against not only the South Koreans but against us -- should that god forbid ever happened should there be this.
Huge miscalculation on the part of the north.
The consequences for the entire region not just north and South Korea and the United States.
But the entire region would be catastrophic and yet don't -- 5000 mile missile and -- And it sounds like you're saying at least you think their their might just be.
A real risk of that happening based on the internal politics in North Korea and again they're ratcheting up the rhetoric in the region what do we -- China.
-- to get ANSYS -- North Korea from doing -- and creating a problem where there isn't.
Yeah well what we say that the Chinese is what we've been saying for the last year this is all on you.
We don't provide the north with -- support nor should we.
Neither -- South Korea or Japan -- the people that are propping up this regime now you used to be concerned about what's called internal collapse -- north Koreans would.
-- across the dollar -- that China a seeking refuge.
But now the Chinese are beginning -- to realize that their role.
Stalinist era partner is acting -- -- buried very irresponsible way and hopefully the Chinese internally are saying to the north Koreans.
-- do you start behaving and acting like adults or we're gonna cut off the food and fuel little by the way.
Is to get to the north Koreans as well to make them understand that we're serious about this and we're just not playing games with the north now all of a sudden.
This whole issue is becoming personal.
-- -- saying in at least the question what kind of leverage do we really have and that region right now with those circles.
People will say that for another time as a whole other conversation the general scales great to have your perspective as always thank them --