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Kim Jong Un’s ambition – Part 3: Real intention behind nuclear and missile programs

Sunday’s “NHK Special” aired the third part of a series on how Kim Jong Un is able to maintain his regime and nuclear and missile development programs despite the international community’s stepping up its economic sanctions against the country. The third part focused on Kim’s recent interest in dialogue and intent to denuclearize. The program reported that North Korea has probably recruited former engineers from Ukrainian aerospace manufacturer Yuzhmash to develop nuclear missiles. The program also said North Korea is apparently conducting cyber attacks to obtain classified information for its nuclear development program, saying that it has been confirmed that the hackers who recently stole classified information from a nuclear power plant in South Korea were North Koreans. The program said that Bureau 121, North Korea’s secret cyberwarfare agency, now has as many as 6,000 members.

 

Former North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho said in an interview that Kim Jong Un’s scenario is to suspend nuclear and missile tests before the U.S.-DPRK summit, but put off abolishing its nuclear weapons until sanctions have been lifted, diplomatic relations with the U.S. have been normalized, and the USFK have withdrawn from South Korea. He said North Korea eventually aims to be recognized as a nuclear power. The program also said a former IAEA inspector suspects that North Korea is operating a nuclear reactor to produce plutonium. Another expert analyzed that North Korea is expanding a nuclear test site by building underground tunnels, claiming that North Korea is planning to continue to develop nuclear weapons. Former Defense Secretary Perry said it has become impossible to verify whether North Korea will completely abandon its nuclear weapons, given that it is unknown how many nuclear weapons North Korea already possesses. The former defense secretary also stressed the importance of maintaining dialogue with North Korea.

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