News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 5, 2013

N. Korea attacks ‘suicidal effort’

Sen. Donnelly, visiting TH, warns U.S. will defend S. Korea and itself

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — If North Korea were to act on its threats of a nuclear attack against the United States, “it would be a suicidal effort,” U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly said during a visit to Terre Haute Thursday.

He met with community leaders at Indiana State University as part of his “Hoosier JobsRoots” tour. Then, he spoke to reporters.

Donnelly, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, answered questions related to North Korea’s increasingly hostile rhetoric.

“We take this in the most serious way,” he said. “Is there a possibility it’s bluster? Sure, but we can’t take that chance. We have to take them [North Korea] at their word … and we will defend our country. We will defend our friend in South Korea, and we will do anything and everything necessary to make sure our interests are protected.”

The first and foremost obligation of the U.S. government “is to protect and defend the people of this country,” he said.

Kim Jong Un, the 29-year-old North Korean dictator, has declared that his country is at a ‘state of war’ with South Korea.

North Korea also has renewed its threat to launch a nuclear attack on the United States, according to the Associated Press. In response, the Pentagon said Wednesday it was deploying a missile defense shield to Guam to protect the U.S. and its allies in the region.

Donnelly said Kim Jong Un is young, inexperienced and has a limited education, “so there is a question as to how well prepared he is and how well he understands what he is doing.”

Also, “We are almost relying on these North Korean generals who have been so unpredictable over the years to try and put some sense into the person leading their country. So you have an unpredictable leader, with unpredictable military advice.”

The U.S. must “take them at their word, and their word is that they want to attack our country,” he said.

Donnelly further stated, “We will do anything and everything to make sure everyone in our country is protected and if they try anything, it would be a suicidal effort” on their part.

He supports the measures being taken by the U.S. military in response to the North Korean threats.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.