"Just this past April," AP writers Charles Hanley and Randy Herschaft said, "issuing a U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said "all options are on the table" for dealing with Pyongyang---meaning U.S. nuclear strikes are not ruled out."
During the Korean War (1950-53), U.S. Air Force bombers flew nuclear rehearsal runs over North Korea's capital and on August 20, 1953, after the fighting ended, the Strategic Air Command sent Air Force headquarters a plan for "an air atomic offensive against China, Manchuria, and North Korea" if the Communists resumed hostilities. Called OpPlan 8-53, it advocated use of "large numbers of atomic weapons.
President Jimmy Carter scaled back the U.S. nuclear arsenal in South Korea and its complete withdrawal was announced in 1991, "although the North Koreans at times accuse the U.S. of maintaining a secret nuclear stockpile," AP says. Korea specialists generally accept Pyongyang's stated rationale that it sought its own bomb for defensive reasons in response to U.S. positioning of nuclear weapons in South Korea, AP reported.
Professor Boyle is the author of "The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence" and "Destroying World Order," both published by Clarity Press.
Sherwood Ross is director of the Anti-War News Service, of Coral Gables, Florida. To comment on this article or contribute to the news service, reach him at Sherwoodross10@gmail.com. Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed weekly columns for many years to several wire services.