US Often Weighed North Korea ‘Nuke Option’
By The Associated Press, New York Times, October 9, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) — From the 1950s Pentagon to today’s Obama administration, the United States has repeatedly pondered, planned and threatened use of nuclear weapons against North Korea, according to declassified and other U.S. government documents released in this 60th-anniversary year of the Korean War.
Air Force bombers flew nuclear rehearsal runs over North Korea’s capital during the war. The U.S. military services later vied for the lead role in any “atomic delivery” over North Korea. In the late 1960s, nuclear-armed U.S. warplanes stood by in South Korea on 15-minute alert to strike the north.
Just this past April, 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 were not ruled out.
The stream of new revelations about U.S. nuclear planning further fills in a picture of what North Korea calls “the increasing nuclear threat of the U.S.,” which it cites as the reason it developed its own atom-bomb program — as a deterrent.