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"Lousy options" as N. Korea races for long-range nuclear weapons

With the new president in South Korea, there’s a lot of news. Take the front page of Monday’s paper: President Moon Jae-in is promising dialogue with North Korea. That could put him at odds with President Trump on how to deal with the threat. All of this comes just ahead of next week’s summit between the two leaders at the White House.

In the heart of Seoul lies Yongsan Army Garrison, the United States’ largest military base in South Korea. “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell and her team toured the base Monday with Garrison commander, Col. Scott Peterson, who said they are ready for anything.
 
“Is it true that every family has a gas mask?” O’Donnell asked.

“They have protective equipment, that’s right. So every family that comes through, children have special ones designed for them, spouses as well,” Peterson said.


Norah O’Donnell with Col. Scott Peterson

CBS News

 
The threat from North Korea is growing. Kim Jong Un is stepping up not only his technical capability but also the pace: 10 missile tests just this year.

John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul and an expert in North Korean affairs, said the regime “is called the land of lousy options.”

“Does North Korea have the capability to launch a nuclear weapon?” O’Donnell asked him.

“We have to assume they can launch a nuclear missile, not an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile], but they can put a warhead on a missile and hit targets in South Korea and the region,” Delury said.
 
Under threat are 28,000 troops in South Korea, more than 50,000 in Japan and more than 6,000 in Guam.
 
“Doesn’t Kim Jong Un want to test an ICBM so he send a message that he could strike the United States?” O’Donnell asked.

“Yeah, stopping the ICBM is going to be really tough,” Delury said, adding, “Recently there have been more signals, North Korean statements where, ‘We’re going to do it soon.’ It does look like this is in the immediate playbook for what they want to do.”

Norah O’Donnell’s exclusive interview with South Korean President Moon Jae-in will take place at the president’s official residence, Blue House, in Seoul, South Korea. It will air Tuesday, June 20, on “CBS This Morning,” 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET/PT, on CBS. The interview will also air throughout the day on Tuesday on CBSN, CBS News’ digital digital network.  

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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