read here and his family defected to South Korea in August, becoming the highest-level defectors from North Korea in two decades. Thae risked his life to talk to Holt; Kim has demonstrated a willingness to murder his enemies.
“I am already a marked man,” Thae said. “Kim Jong Un wants to eliminate any person or any country which poses a threat to him. And I think I am really a great threat to him.
“Kim Jong Un is a person who did not even hesitate to kill his uncle and a few weeks ago, even his half-brother,” Thae said. “So, he is a man who can do anything to remove [anyone in] his way.”
Thae is not the only one who believes North Korea is a grave threat. The commander of America’s Pacific Fleet is worried about the reclusive nation.
“They have the nuclear capability — they’ve demonstrated that,” Admiral Scott Swift told NBC News. “And then, where they’re going with the miniaturization of that, whether they can actually weaponize a missile, that’s what’s driving the current concern.”
North Korea has an estimated eight nuclear warheads, but no one knows if it has a working ICBM. An ICBM would be necessary to hit the United States from the Korean peninsula.
“It does feel more dangerous — I’ll give you three reasons,” retired Admiral James Stavridis told NBC News. “One is [Kim’s] own precarious situation in command of the nation. Number two is the instability in South Korea. We’ve just seen the South Korean president indicted, arrested, and incarcerated. And, number three, a new and more aggressive American foreign policy coming from Washington.”
South Korean President Park Geun-hye was impeached over a corruption scandal last year and ousted from office during March of this year. Kim might see the constitutional crisis in South Korea as an opportunity to attack.
‘Only a Nuclear Weapon Can Guarantee His Rule’
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 17 said military action is on the table.
Kim thinks that possessing a nuclear weapon is the only to avoid the fate of tyrants like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, Thae said.
“That’s why Kim Jong Un strongly believes that only a nuclear weapon can guarantee his rule,” Thae said.
Thae added, “If Kim Jong Un has nuclear weapons and ICBMs, he can do anything So, I think the world should be ready to deal with this kind of person.”
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