North Korea will NOT surrender nuclear weapons as Pyongyang plots to take control of Seoul
KIM Jong-un and his dictator run state will not surrender their nuclear weapons as North Korea plots to “drive a wedge between the US and South Korea” and eventually take control of Seoul, experts warn.
After continued threats of war on the Korean Peninsula, the North will send 22 athletes to compete in three sports and five disciplines at the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that the hermit regime has made plans to take part in the games which are set to be held in February.
Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to march under a ‘unity flag’ at the games.
Despite this, fears have heightened this week as Kim Jong-un appears to be not willing to surrender his nuclear weapons.
Robert A. Manning, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, believes that nuclear arsenal is key to the dictator’s grip on power.
He told the Daily Star Online: “I can’t say I’m optimistic, as the regime’s very identity and legitimacy is bound to its nuclear status.
“That said, we have never applied anything even close to such comprehensive economic sanctions, which all told, almost amount to an economic blockade.
“They are beginning to disrupt the North Korean economy, and maybe one reason for Kim’s sudden olive branch, though part of his motive is to try to drive a wedge between the US and South Korean, a time-honoured tactic.”
Mr Manning’s comments come after North Korean expert Bradley K. Martin warned Donald Trump that his officials should continue monitoring Pyongyang to avoid any surprise attacks.
He said: “We should be very wary because North Korea never falters from its basic strategy which is to persuade the United States to get its troops out of the Korean Peninsula or persuade the South Koreans to push our troops out.
“And then reunite – either peacefully or forcefully – the peninsula so that North Korea will then control the southern part of the country. That is their long-term strategy.”
Mr Martin went on to warn that North Korea would never “waver” on its long-established strategy of aggression.
He said: “They are trying to break down the alliance and the determination of South Korea and use their own intensity.
“The North never wavers, never changes its strategy. They have been doing the same thing all these years.”
Michael Madden, founder and director of North Korea Leadership Watch, is also certain that the dictator will refuse to back down.
However, he believes there are some concessions he might make on his nuclear programme.
Mr Madden said: “There are some things that they might be willing to negotiate in that regard: the cessation of nuclear tests, suspending further development of its nuclear assets (ie no better nukes), suspending certain types of ballistic missile test.
“But there is no reason, given the advanced development of its WMDs during 2016 to 2017, for complete denuclearisation.”
Meanwhile, a US think-tank said tunnelling had been stepped up at the nuclear test site near Punggye-ri.
Analysts with 38North, which monitors North Korea, said satellite images showed increased activity at the Punggye-ri site, with mining carts and personnel frequently visible and excavation waste piles growing.
It said: “These activities underscore North Korea’s continued efforts to maintain the Punggye-ri site’s potential for future nuclear testing.”
The latest pictures indicated the North Tunnel – where five of the last six tests have taken place – was “dormant” with water draining from its entrance but that “tunnel excavation has been stepped up at the West Portal”.