U.S. nuclear commander would resist 'illegal' order for strike

Not stupid’ Gen Hyten and Mr Trump

But asked by NK News whether the US could live alongside a nuclear ICBM-capable North Korea - in the same way it has coexisted with nuclear-ICBM capable arsenals in China and Russia - General Hyten expressed preference toward a different outcome.

John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday that he and Trump have had conversations about such a scenario and that he would tell Trump he couldn't carry out an illegal strike.

"If it's illegal, guess what's going to happen?" When you have this responsibility how do you not think about it?,' he said.

"I think some people think we're stupid", Hyten said when asked about the scenario. In fact, no US military officer is bound to obey an order he believes to be "illegal", so why this is being made into a big deal is something of a mystery.

And in that regard, Hyten said USSTRATCOM would support the President to "keep every bit of pressure we can", adding that "we are ready to respond right now, right now at this moment". President, that's illegal.' And guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, "What would be legal?"

"The Law of Armed Conflict has certain principles - necessity, distinction, proportionality, unnecessary suffering - all those things are defined", said Hyten.

Top nuclear commander: I wouldn't carry out an 'illegal' nuclear strike order from Trump
US STRATCOM Head Ready to Resist Possible Illegal Order to Use Nuclear Weapons

But, he said, if the command was "illegal" he would tell him so, and said that together they would come up with other options. You could go to jail for the rest of your life, ' he explained.

Hyten said he's talked it over with Trump.

Trump has previously made strong and provocative comments on North Korea and Kim Jong Un.

Trump has traded insults and threats with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and threatened in his maiden U.N. address to "totally destroy" the country of 26 million people if it threatened the United States.

CBS said Hyten, who is responsible for overseeing the USA nuclear arsenal, explained the process that would follow such a command.

The escalating war of words has alarmed some U.S. lawmakers, and senators debated the limits of a president's unilateral power to launch a nuclear attack earlier this week. "The most likely attack against our country is not a massive surprise nuclear attack by Russian Federation or China, but an escalating conflict with a smaller nuclear adversary like North Korea".

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