Media Coverage | April 12, 2017

Dr. William Parker Talks Syria, North Korea on David Webb Show

The EastWest Institute's COO appeared on the show on April 10 to discuss a wide range of current issues, particularly the U.S. military response to reports of chemical weapon use in Syria as well as possible confrontation with North Korea.

Parker believed that President Donald Trump's military action "puts the world on notice to stop misbehaving." 

Asked about North Korea's likely capabilities, Parker said state or non-state actors with nuclear capability could potentially reach the United States with simple delivery systems like trucks, ships and containers.

"Specifically, if you can deliver a nuclear weapon on a ship or in a truck it can have the same devastating result as if it is delivered by a missile. But that means that the weapon must be small enough to deliver and get through a lot of layers of intelligence and defense systems. As far as missile delivery, there are two likely scenarios that North Korea is working towards. The first is a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and the second is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The North Koreans are certainly working hard to obtain this capability, but in my opinion, are not quite there yet with their delivery vehicles or the miniaturization of their weapons. But I have no doubt that they are on track to achieve this capability very soon."

The retired senior U.S. naval officer also said replicating the Iran Nuclear Deal with Pyongyang would not be enough.

"In my opinion, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by P5+1, does a good job of addressing the issues of enrichment reprocessing and monitoring but does not go far enough in eliminating the possibility of Iran creating nuclear weapons in the near future. In the case of North Korea and based on their lack of real interaction with the rest of the international community, the only acceptable option would be a complete elimination of nuclear test facilities and the removal of all fissile materials. Additionally, the immediate cessation of all medium range and long range missiles (beyond those necessary for point defense) should be a requirement," said Parker.