Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (Reuters / Jonathan Erns)
US war plans against North Korea recently included the option of a nuclear strike, former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed in his memoirs, triggering major controversy
Panetta described a 2010 briefing in Seoul by General Walter L. ‘Skip’ Sharp, the commander of US forces in South Korea, where it was made clear that the nuclear option was on the table if North Korean forces crossed into the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the North and the South.
“If North Korea moved across the border, our war plans called for the senior American general on the peninsula to take command of all US and South Korea forces and defend South Korea— including by the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary,” Panetta wrote in ‘Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace’.
Panetta added that he left the briefing with “the powerful sense that war in that region was neither hypothetical nor remote.”
Panetta’s revelations sparked various responses, ranging from surprise to indignation.
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