Pre-emptive War with North Korea would be ''Catastrophic'': Susan Rice

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The Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice says Pre-emptive war with North Korea would be ''Catastrophic''. Former national security adviser Susan Rice said on Thursday that the United States should rule out a pre-emptive strike on the North Korea, casting President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" comments as dangerous.

"A pre-emptive war, if one were actually thinking of executing that, would be catastrophic," Susan Rice said on Thursday. She said the "hot rhetoric" coming from both Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could move the nations closer to war.

She said the President had articulated the logic of deterrence in his comments earlier Thursday.

"The core of what President Trump said today, discounting for the rhetoric, was if North Korea were to attack the United States, and obviously Guam is part of the United States, we would respond with the full force of our capabilities," Susan Rice said. "That's common sense. That's deterrence. And that's the appropriate approach."

However, she said Trump's apparently improvised threat earlier in the week, that the United States would potentially respond to further North Korean threats and nuclear developments with unprecedented force, outlined a dangerous proposal.

"We just can't react to every statement or verbal provocation," Susan Rice said.

Susan Rice added that the Trump Administration had offered mixed messages, leaving it unclear where exactly the United States stood and what it would respond to. "I think the problem is nobody is clear what the red line is," Susan Rice said.

Trump has made a vocal and purposeful shift in posture from his predecessors, blasting their inability to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Asked about the Obama administration's failure to rein in North Korea's weapons program, Susan Rice said North Korea was a longstanding problem and accepted a share of the blame. She noted the Obama administration and its immediate predecessors had tried a mixture of diplomacy, sanctions, and cooperation with China and "various other methods we shouldn't speak about on television."

Nevertheless, she acknowledged North Korea had continued to build its arsenal.

"You can call it a failure," Susan Rice said. "I accept that characterization of the efforts of the United States over the last two decades."

Susan Rice said the issue now is what to do in a world where North Korea, led by Kim, possessed some of the most destructive weapons in history.

Susan Rice stressed again her assessment that preventive war would be "foolish and catastrophic" and suggested a path reliant on deterrence -- with an open door to the diplomacy.