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Any pre-emptive strike against North Korea will cause several problems: Korean researcher

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Summary

'you wouldn't be able to knock everything out right away': Korean researcher

'China's main goal now is that no such fighting breaks out': expert

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As tensions continue to build between the US and North Korea, an expert cautions any pre-emptive strike against the isolated nation will come with serious problems.

Don Baker is co-director of the UBC Centre for Korean Research.

He says the idea of a quick strike that would eliminate the threat from North Korea is unrealistic.

“First of all North Korea has their bombs and their artillery scattered all over the country so you wouldn’t be able to knock everything out right away.”

He says with Seoul so close to the North Korean border, it could lead to another problem.

“With a population of 20,000,000 within 50 kilometres of the North Korean border, it wouldn’t take much for North Korea to do a lot of damage, killing tens of thousands of South Koreans within the first few hours as a response to any kind of American pre-emptive strike.”

Baker says China will be a key player for keeping peace in the region.

“I don’t think China would get involved directly in a conflict between the United States and North Korea. They have a treaty, but China is going to ignore that. China’s main goal now is that no such fighting breaks out.”

Baker says he would like to see softened rhetoric from both the US and North Korea.