Panetta: N. Korea understands wrong move will end regime

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Sunday said North Korea understands that the wrong move could result in an end to the current leadership in Pyongyang.

"One thing we have learned in over 60 years in dealing with various North Korean dictators is that you can't out-bully a bully", Panetta, who served in the Obama White House, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been heightened this week as leaders from both countries have touted their military capabilities.

"When this kind of loose talk takes place, the rest of the world is listening and trying to figure out what is going on".

He said the USA must convey a clear strategy of "containment and deterrence" and added that the country needs a president who is steady, calm, responsible, "and who recognizes that the most important thing right now is to find a way that we do not get into a war".

"If there is a mistake by someone in North Korea or someone in South Korea or someone elsewhere, that suddenly has us into a war on the Korean peninsula".

The US is now pursuing talks through diplomatic backchannels, however Panetta said he's is concerned about the possibility of a "miscalculation". "I really do think that what is required now is a lessening of this rhetoric and allow our actions to speak for the United States, not our words".

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