WWL>Topics>>12-28 8:45am Tommy, how big of a threat is North Korea?

12-28 8:45am Tommy, how big of a threat is North Korea?

Dec 28, 2016|

Tommy talks to Joseph DeThomas, former ambassador to Estonia, he spent 29 years in the US Foreign Service and 32 years in the State Dept, Professor of Practice at Penn State.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

45 quarters still denying we need to get cheer New Year's started not that it has begun yet. With them on a worrisome note but there there are some big problems brewing in North Korea under Kim Jong Hoon. And that is that day yard hell bent on pursuing this nuclear program and eventually. Maybe being cable reach in the West Coast the United States chose of former ambassador to Estonia worked in US foreign service and Tony nine years in the state department for 32 years and a professor practice. At Penn State good morning senator. It is an honor to have you on it really is there appreciate your time. Give us if you will. Your forecast. About Kim Jong Kim Jong Hoon. Nuclear weapons in north decree Korea and what the new president is inheriting from the old president. Okay. Well the new president is inheriting from five pre pre yet. I didn't mean it does sound way to as a poorly phrased question. I mean I don't know I guess what I meant to say press professor. Did nothing pejorative what does he have to deal with what is gonna hit him as soon as he takes the oath. Well what what it has to repeat XBO is that North Korea has weapons now. It has probably the best estimate I've seen somewhere between. And if need be as many as twenty nuclear weapons. Not. Very highly advanced ones but certainly the of the type that destroyed Hiroshima. Many years ago. He has the ability to deliver weapons with missiles. To anyplace in South Korea including anyplace where our troops are. And any place in Japan including where our troops are there are so he's all ready. Racked up problem. For a then as you mentioned earlier developing Intercontinental ballistic missiles which. At some point in the future I I continually specific year. But that the next president is likely to have to face the reality of somebody coming into all one saying. We now accept that North Korea. Could perhaps. Deliver a nuclear warhead and the West Coast of these states. Or that particular. Yet tell me a little bit if you will about gay and I don't mean in a ruptured there was more professor and I'm mr. ambassador tell me about Kim Jong noon in himself. Mom. Is seeing. Is he stable. Does that factor in this. Yeah I mean obviously I don't know him personally. And very Q what do. I think people have to you know get out of there at the idea that the North Korean leaders are just. You know psychiatric unbalanced. Per say. These people are rational calculator. The problem. They are rational calculators in political system that is to our minds to our view irrational. And you guys are. People trying to maintain their own power you know that two took defendant and further interest of their country. In her in what they consider rational light but they're political system is you know family business. On the warship of the Kim family mean he's that guy at third generation and. So. In terms of protection of the country. Nuclear weapons is. Tactical use of them would what is the North Korean perspective on. The way the rest of the world views them or the intentions of the rest of the world towards. They they see the world as he redeemed. Core North Korea is the one true place on earth. And it is. You know surrounded by countries hostile to end up and airport they have to take extraordinary measures at. So that the other they're living in a world where they see us as your team are all looking for the opportunity to. Nick Kim Jong-Il and the next Saddam Hussein over the next. More market copy. So that the other thought about nuclear weapons that that there are like why is their wide receiver. On the nuclear weapons that can threaten not went on. We can't do anything to them. So that that air watch. What we've tried things in terms of sanctions and so forth. Yeah. The as I set I've worked on this spot the president's. A lot of different things have been tried sanctions which are the current that effort that the administration's making. Are big one. We tried diplomatic negotiations we try. Providing incentives in return for nuclear restraint. There's a lot of stuff that's been tried over the course of you know many decades now. Unfortunately. It all comes down to the place where we are now which there isn't that good negotiating. Mechanism in place. Neither we nor the north Koreans believe we can get a deal we need from each other and both. Now to be they're preparing ourselves to you know get. Some marginal advantage militarily. So anybody who came into office in January. Was going to be faced them very difficult problem with a very small solutions that. In terms of that what it would hard on this chess board. He's China play in and I don't know with new relationship with. Donald Trump I don't know if it's dysfunctional one where at times is good and bad times adds ban I don't understand this so. Where where does he stand with China and where will that what will that add to do Chiming in terms of being a player with. Kim Jong run and nuclear weapons. Right many people believe that China is the key. China is. China and North Korea arsenal formally Al. An ally in the Korean War. So that there that rocky relationship. China is key economic like North Korea that it basically only foreign treating part. For all legal goods now it the source. All. North Korean patrol. So it that'll let. Clearly. So many people believe all we can only get shiny you all their like urged. You know re Sheen threatening economic pressure on North Korea. We consult the sprawl. Without war. On the problem with that is. China has the problem is that her way it that the North Korea nuclear where they're at new low for Kim Jong by any means. But from their point of view a nuclear North Korea is out there or for worse worst outcome. They worked out com. Would be the collapse of North Korea. With something on the order of the Syrian civil war on Chinese for. Worst outcome would be. A second Korean war on the Korean Peninsula right extort China with the risk of China getting drawn into world war. A worst outcome would be eager to collapse of the North Korean or Asian and Korean reunification. And then you have a pro American Korea next door trying to. So from the airport that you don't want nuclear weapons but there not prepared to do the kinds of things. We would like them to do because you know the other outcomes might be so. And that puts trumpet difficult position. And master I have I have about a thousand more questions we owe you any more time for arsenal. You I'd do you're in touch base with the in his second because. Is this very important and we've been seen in this happened for a long time minutes and other off Hughes this is. Well if you gonna say you're gonna live with Kim Jong-un. With nuclear weapons and and he's. The worst of the worst dictators and use that you know I can RO other people am. He will be back in Maine and national bit with the ambassador.