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Here’s why Seattle should be paying close attention to North Korea

In this file image made from video released by KRT, North Korea launches four missiles in an undisclosed location North Korea. (AP)

Here in Seattle we obviously have an interest in keeping intercontinental ballistic missiles out of North Korea because we are such a close target.

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On Tuesday, President Trump kept the discussion about North Korea going, in his typical fashion.

His tweets come at a time when tension between the U.S. and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is high. The Associated Press reports North Korea has vowed “tough counteraction” to any military moves following the deployment of a naval strike group that leaders in Pyongyang called “reckless acts of aggression.”

Ted Carpenter, a fellow of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at The Cato Institute, says Kim Jong-un is more ruthless than his father.

“[When] dealing with political opponents, [Kim Jong-un’s predecessors] sent them into exile or gave them prison terms,” Carpenter said. “Kim Jong Un executes them — even close family members. So this suggests a ruthless individual.”

So ruthless, in fact, that it has a retired general worried about the near future.

“One of the things coming at us … are the North Koreans,” Gen. Michael Hayden previously said. “I’ve famously written, to be provocative, that by the end of this term for Mr. Trump, North Korea will be able to reach this city, as in Seattle, with an indigenously-produced (intercontinental ballistic missile).”

And Carpenter says it will take more than simply cutting off food and aid to North Korea to get its leaders to cooperate.

“There’s a myth in the U.S. that China just needs to tell Kim Jong-un what to do,” he said. “That is a myth, and a dangerous one.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Carpenter below.

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