Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump had advocated a surgical strike against North Korea's nuclear facility, according to a book the real-estate tycoon published when he first ran for president in 2000.
"What would I do in North Korea? Fair question. It's easy to point out the problem, but what should be done to solve it? Am I ready to bomb this reactor? You're damned right," Trump said in the book titled, "The America We Deserve."
Trump said that Israel's 1981 strike on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor was condemned by the world community, but Israel "did what they had to do to survive," adding that the North's "nuclear capability is a direct threat to the United States."
"As an experienced negotiator, I can tell you that negotiation with these madmen will be fruitless once they have the ability to lob a nuclear missile into Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York," Trump said. "I don't advocate thermonuclear war, but if negotiations fail, I advocate a surgical strike against these outlaws before they pose a real threat."
It is unclear if Trump still advocates such an action, but he has shown deeply negative views of the North, calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "madman" and a "maniac" and calling for China to rein in its provocative neighbor.
Trump said in the book that he's not trigger-happy but "as president I would be prepared to order a strike -- using conventional weapons -- against North Korean targets if it prevented nuclear blackmail or the nuclear destruction of the U.S. population."
Such an operation doesn't mean an extended air campaign or a ground war, but it's about "taking out a very specific target and then returning to the bargaining table," Trump said.
Trump said he advocates such an action "only after talks break down -- which is highly likely in view of the North Koreans' track record of violating everything they have agreed to thus far."
"A surgical strike would not only put out the fire in North Korea, but it would also send a message around the world that the United States is going to eliminate any serious threat to its security, and do so without apology," he said.
Trump also dismissed concerns about possible nuclear fallout in the event of such a strike, saying the Israeli attack on the Iraq facility resulted in no fallout. (Yonhap)