WASHINGTON — North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un would not hesitate to use nuclear attack on the United States and other countries, according to a defector who formerly served as deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom.
“Once he sees that there is any kind of sign of a tank or an imminent threat from America, then he would use his nuclear weapons with ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile),” Thae Yong Ho told NBC anchorman Lester Holt. “Kim Jong Un is a man who can do anything beyond the normal imagination.”
Thae 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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