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North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons, says former diplomat

North Korea won’t give up nuclear weapons, former diplomat says, Thomas Maresca,   USA TODAY Feb. 19, 2019 SEOUL – North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons, a former North Korean diplomat warned ahead of next week’s summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

“No money in the world will convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons,” said Thae Yong Ho, Pyongyang’s former deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom, at a news briefing here Tuesday.

Thae fled his post in 2016 and is the highest-ranking North Korean diplomat to defect to South Korea.

The former diplomat said North Korea has been following a long-term strategy to pressure the United States to offer a peace agreement and begin lifting sanctions while not requiring that Pyongyang fully denuclearize.

He said Kim has followed the path of Pakistan, a de facto nuclear state which argued the military threat posed by nuclear-armed India justified the need for its own weapons.

“North Korea’s policy was to escalate the crisis of war to justify its nuclear weapons,” Thae said.

He said that Trump unwittingly played into the hands of Kim, by threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea at a 2017 speech to the U.N. General Assembly speech.

Raising the real possibility of war was “a real strategic mistake,” Thae said, claiming there was never a genuine threat of conflict between the U.S. and North Korea. “I believe, unfortunately President Trump fell into this trap.”…….

February 21, 2019 - Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war

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