Subject: Voice of America / Nelson Report warn of poss pre-emptive strike on DPRK

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Voice of America / Nelson Report: Sr admin officials warn, on background, of poss pre-emptive strike on DPRK, advises removal of personal assets from S. Korea.

 Supplemental Info:

The following statement was released a short time ago by Voice of America White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman:


SUMMARY: senior Administration officials, speaking privately or on background, warn to take so seriously the possibility of a US pre-emptive strike or kinetic action against N. Korea's growing nuclear missile threat that removing one's personal assets from S. Korea is now advisable. And similar warnings have been informally given to some NGO's operating in the DPRK, given the risk of foreigners becoming "hostages" in the event of hostilities on the Peninsula.

The sources for this are unimpeachable, but let us be clear: SO FAR AS WE KNOW THIS IS INFORMAL, NOT OFFICIAL.

However...these officials are not saying the President has already decided he will risk ordering military action against N. Korea to prevent a successful ICBM. They are saying that that reports of US preparations must be taken seriously by Beijing, Pyongyang, Tokyo and Seoul, and are not just contingency hypotheticals.

Of course we cannot repeat enough times that there's a psywargame being played seriously by everyone involved...and has been for years. So of course everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. But the "feel" this time is different. We've never heard this kind of private warning from USG folks before...if anything, it's always been "calm down". So why the clear "escalation" now? Gamesmanship, or fair warning?


AlertsUSA has nothing to add to the statement above, except to advise that for Steve Herman, the White House Bureau Chief for Voice of America, to propagate this note from the Nelson Report, which is itself a highly reliable source, is significant.

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