WASHINGTON — A former CIA director is warning that it would be “profoundly dangerous” to underestimate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who he calls a “sociopath” who doesn’t follow the standard protocol on nuclear weapons.
James Woolsey, CIA director under President Clinton, and Peter Vincent Pry, chief of staff of the congressional EMP Commission, co-wrote a column for The Washington Times asserting that the U.S. isn’t prepared for North Korea’s threat.
“Kim Jong-un is a sociopath who inherited absolute power from his father and grandfather,” Woolsey and Pry wrote. “Like them, Kim is mentally and spiritually absolutely corrupted. Kim is so suspicious of his own followers that he is purging his political and military elites, inventing sadistically ingenious ways of killing even close relatives.”
They called him “Caligula in the third generation, armed with nuclear weapons.”
“His paranoid personality is exactly the type to start a nuclear war,” they wrote in the March 26 column.
Western analysists, they wrote, “wrongly assume” that North Korea will follow a testing regime “similar to that for U.S. missiles,” with multiple flight tests. Instead, North Korea is rushing untested weapons into deployment.
“North Korea sees itself in a long nuclear crisis with the United States, always on the verge of nuclear war, necessitating that missiles get rushed out the door based on component testing and maybe some minimal flight testing,” they wrote. “Pyongyang is in a panic, like Moscow during World War II rushing not properly tested tanks to the front from the factory floor — except Pyongyang’s panic is over nuclear war.”
That explains why North Korea deployed 30 intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) for nine years without flight testing them until recently, they wrote. The country also has deployed mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) without flight testing.
“Pyongyang’s panic explains why we should be a lot more worried about their KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites orbiting over the U.S. If nuclear-armed, these satellites could make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that would blackout North America and kill millions,” Woolsey and Pry wrote. “Surprise EMP attack by satellite is such an unconventional gambit it is still not on the mental radar screens of most analysts — exactly as Pyongyang hopes.”
The two men asserted that the U.S. must do four things to protect itself:
- “Harden the national electric grid against EMP and cyberattack, starting by appointing new commissioners to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who care more about national security than essentially representing the electric utilities.
- “Redeploy Aegis guided missile cruisers to plug holes in the National Missile Defense, especially in the southern Gulf coastal states — Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.
- “Modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent, including development of EMP and cyber weapons capable of neutralizing nuclear missile threats preemptively.
- “Launch a new Manhattan Project to resurrect President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and deploy space-based missile defenses to make preemptive warfare unnecessary.”
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