Former Secretary of Defense William Perry is one of America’s great national defense assets. So it is difficult to understand his lapse in judgment in proposing, with Harvard’s Ash Carter... Their June 22 Washington Post op-ed, commits five basic errors:...The Bush Doctrine, in bullet points. Of course an attack on North Korea would be an act of war*, and it's always difficult to see how the other guy will respond.
4. There is little calculation of the next move. Perry and Carter assume that once the U.S. attacked North Korea, Kim Jung-Il will do nothing. This assumption is convenient, but unsupported. Do the authors really think that Kim can afford to lose massive amounts of face and still maintain his grip on the military? What if he launches a missile at a U.S. facility in South Korea in a tit-for-tat exchange? Never count on winning a chess game with one bold move.
*There's an unfortunate convention to say these things, when done by the US, are "seen as" a provocation, or "perceived to be" an attack. Surely, an unprovoked missile barrage on North Korea is simply an attack and an act of war, and we don't know what happens the day, or even the hour, afterwards.