01:03 GMT18 February 2020
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    The US government should sign a non-aggression pact with North Korea to reduce tensions in Northeast Asia and avoid a devastating war, retired Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Philip Giraldi told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In the past, for various reasons, but mostly related to the credibility of a possible US response to an attack from North Korea, Washington has been reluctant to agree to such a pact, Giraldi acknowledged.

    However, perhaps it is time to reconsider that policy and take steps to reduce the level of hostility that currently prevails. Giraldi suggested.

    "It is my understanding that the North Koreans have long sought a non-aggression guarantee from the United States," Giraldi said on Thursday.

    "While North Korea does not threaten the United States directly, it does have the capability to initiate a devastating attack on key American allies in the region," he said.

    Giraldi was speaking after South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea launched several short-range missiles toward the East Sea (Sea of Japan) on Thursday. The move followed new sanctions on North Korea approved by the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

    The new sanctions, Giraldi argued, would only increase the dangers of confrontation and war in the region, not reduce them.

    "Do sanctions on North Korea mitigate its seemingly hostile behavior. Clearly they do not and the imposing of sanctions in this case only guarantees that Pyongyang will respond with moves intended to demonstrate its defiance," he argued.

    Giraldi was also critical of calls for the United States to deploy its aircraft-launched Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea.

    "Since the systems are likely to be token in nature and symbolic rather than an actual deterrent, they will only invite yet another fit of pique on the part of the North Koreans, escalating the situation," he maintained.

    North Korea possibly had several nuclear weapons and now claimed to also have tested a thermonuclear weapon, or hydrogen bomb, making the dangers of an outbreak of war far more serious, Giraldi noted.

    "Since the North now claims to have a hydrogen bomb, an escalation is something that should be avoided," he concluded.

    The new UN sanctions came in response to Pyongyang’s January 6 hydrogen bomb test, as well as the launch, a month later, of a long-range rocket to allegedly place a satellite into orbit, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

    Philip Giraldi is former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA. He is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest in McLean, Virginia.

    Related:

    UN Security Council Lowers the Boom on North Korea
    North Korea Fires Short-Range Missiles Into East Sea
    Spain Welcomes New Set of Sanctions Against North Korea
    Tags:
    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), non-aggression pact, United States
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