The United States and its allies should be prepared for a “desperate” Kim Jong-Un to use nuclear weapons against them, a senior North Korean defector warned. Geostrategy-Direct
Adm. James Stavridis, an NBC News analyst and dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, said, “I’ll give you three reasons” why the situation is especially dangerous now.
“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.”
“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.”
Kim is “desperate in maintaining his rule by relying on his [development of] nuclear weapons and ICBMs,” Thae Yong-Ho, the most high profile North Korean defector in two decades, told NBC News.
“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,” he added.
Thae warned America and its allies to be prepared.
“If Kim Jong-Un has nuclear weapons and ICBMs, he can do anything,” he said. “So, I think the world should be ready to deal with this kind of person.”
He added that “Kim Jong Un is a man who can do anything beyond the normal imagination” and that “the final and the real solution to the North Korean nuclear issue is to eliminate Kim Jong-Un from the post.”
According to Thae, Kim is obsessed with obtaining nukes after he saw the fate of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, both of whom abandoned their countries’ weapons of mass destruction programs and then were overthrown by Western-backed forces.
“That’s why Kim Jong Un strongly believes that only a nuclear weapon can guarantee his rule,” Thae said.
Thae was living in London and serving as North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom when he and his family defected to South Korea and were announced to the world in August.
North Korea is estimated to have at least eight nuclear weapons but has not demonstrated the ability to attach them to a long-range rocket, an ICBM, capable of hitting the U.S.
“They have the nuclear capability – they’ve demonstrated that,” Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, 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.”
President Donald Trump told the Financial Times newspaper last month that “something had to be done” about North Korea. This came after Defense Secretary James Mattis said the country “has got to be stopped” and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said military action was “on the table.”
Thae said the world need only look at Kim’s past actions to see what he is capable of. The young leader has reportedly been responsible for purges and executions of top officials and even members of his own family.
Last month, according to U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials, he masterminded the assassination of his own half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam, at an airport in Malaysia.
“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, who is set to leave the protection of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and enter South Korean society, has said he will not remain silent.
“Thae’s decision to speak out could be the most dangerously subversive development of Kim Jong-Un’s reign,” the One Free Korea blog said. “More than … any other person,” Thae could be a key voice to Koreans on both sides of the DMZ, and to the wider world.
But Thae could also emerge as a counter-propaganda force in both North Korea, where the Kim regime has been mocking the recently-impeached South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, and in the South where political storms obscure political and geopolitical realities North of the DMZ, Geostrategy-Direct reported on Dec. 21, 2016.
In a way that Hwang Jang-yop was not able to, “Thae can become a leader among the divided North Korean diaspora in the South and help build their influence inside South Korea and (with his excellent command of English) internationally,” the report said.
“He can explain to young or deluded South Koreans who are sympathetic to, or ambivalent about, the regime in the North that it is not a legitimate keeper of their nationhood or any kind of paradise. He can give us all insights into what North Koreans in Pyongyang really think, even as they profess loyalty to the regime.”
Sources inside North Korea say there is an audience even among Pyongyang elites for Thae.
According to Radio Free Asia, Kim Jong-Un is unpopular even in Pyongyang, where residents whisper that he is a “pig” and “an incompetent child.”
North Korean state propaganda that heavily pushed on the popular uprising against South Korean President Park Geun-Hye may have backfired by “planting similar ideas” in the minds of North Koreans.