South Korea's 'Kill Chain' plan could trigger nuclear war with North Korea, experts warn

Seoul has doubled-down on its efforts to pump money and resources into its Kill Chain strategy, it has been reported. The strategy, as set out by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, looks to deter any nuclear attack by Pyongyang.

It intends to do so by preparing for preemptive strikes if necessary.

Despite having first been developed a decade or so ago, Kill Chain also keeps the possibility of an attack against senior leadership on the table if an imminent threat is identified.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Ankit Panda claimed the threat to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was particularly destabilising.

He said: “I can see why leadership decapitation is tempting for South Korea, but threatening to kill the leadership of a nuclear-armed state is uniquely dangerous.”

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Panda added: “Kim has ample reason to believe that he can employ his nuclear weapons in a limited way and still survive.”

Jeffrey Lewis, a missile researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, also suggested the plans could have destabilising consequences on the region.

He said: “The most plausible route to a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.”

Lewis added: “This is the military plan that is most likely to succeed.

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