North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has conducted more missile launches than either his father or his grandfather.Former US Ambassador to South Korea, Christopher Hill, told VOA via Skype that Kim Jong-un appears to be a belligerent leader.
“He does not take any responsibility from that fact that North Korea in September 2005 did agree to abandon all their nuclear programs.”
Hill says it is na?ve to think that North Korea has been working on developing nuclear weapons for the past 50 years for defense purposes.
“They have very offensive systems in mind and I think the nuclear weapons play a role in that.And I think ultimately what they are trying to do is to create a circumstance where they can succeed in getting the US off the Korean Peninsula, and then they think they could actually you know earns.”
The US diplomat says the United States has never agreed nor should it to negotiate over joint military drills with South Korea as suggested by China and Russia.In his own talks with North Korea diplomats, he said he explained that North Korea should not worry about being attacked.
“All of the scenarios for all those exercises start with the premise that North Korea has invaded South Korea not that South Korea has invaded North Korea.So I explained that these exercises are defensive and I told the North Koreans.My only regret is that we didn’t have those exercises in the summer of 1950.”
With regard to a North Korean missile test, he says the United States should use missile defense only as a last resort.“The North Koreans can get information about our trajectories and how our missiles work, so I think we might want to save that for something for a moment where we feel that the North Korean missile in question is a direct threat.”
Hill says the United States should join forces with China and North Korea’s other neighbors to find a diplomatic means to get Pyongyang to stop its nuclear programs. But he says a summit with the US and the Chinese presidents should be well prepared.
“And it would not be prepared if Trump arrived inside negotiate they just started talking about North Korea. There needs to be a diplomatic mission earlier the kind that Kissinger performed in China and anticipation of President Nixon’s visit.”
The former diplomat said the United States Department currently lacks a competent team to work on these important issues and it is critical to form one as soon as possible.
Zlatica Hoke VOA News Washington.