Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks about the nuclear threat from North Korea and four things we can do now to protect the U.S.
NEWT GINGRICH: I first got involved in looking at nuclear warfare with a book called Tomorrow, which was a frightening account of a nuclear weapon going off over a city like Kansas City, and literally what would happen int he first 30-45 minutes. I was shocked as a teenage boy how terrible these weapons could become.
We are talking about a genuine threat to the North Korean people, South Korea, Japan, the U.S., that would be in millions. Remember how we reacted after 9/11 and add at least 100x as many people, per city, and then you begin to realize how horrifying this would be.
The time has come to realize that all these diplomatic resolutions and diplomatic manuevers -- you're up against a very willful dictatorship that can withstand an enormous level of sanctions... dictators learn to adjust. They take care of the secret police and the military, and everyone else can starve.
We have to do three or four things that are very big breaks in thinking and policy.
First: We have to develop two new kinds of anti-ballistic missile systems. One is to take the experiments we've had with airborne lasers... so that any time we're worried about a North Korean launch, we can kill it on the way up...
Second, we should reach back to the Reagan years, take the space based concept, which was then called Brilliant Pebbles... You want to have more than one shot...
You need some kind of space based system where you can get 30-40 shots at this thing as it goes through the whole ballistic parabola.
Third, we need to recognize in South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. a need for real civil defense. We should be capable of withstanding three nuclear events in three different cities in the same day, and having the hospitals, engineering, military, police, that would enable us to minimize the loss of human life.
This is serious stuff.
Finally, we have to have a very rapid pre-emptive strike capability, so the North Koreans will know if we think they are going to scare us, we will take them out before they have a chance to attack.