A former British Ambassador to North Korea says that the North will ignore threats of global economic sanctions and U.S. military action and continue on its current path.
John Everard presented the view on Wednesday in his contribution to CNN titled What will it take to stop North Korea?
He said that North Korea has probably not yet mastered two key technologies -- how to miniaturize a warhead and how to get a missile back through the atmosphere without it spinning out of control or burning up, but it is dangerously close to being able to threaten a nuclear strike on an American city.
The former ambassador said that the North Korean leadership seems to believe that its nuclear and missile programs are vital to its survival, but there are two possible threats � the international community increasing sufficient economic pressure or U.S. military action.
Everard noted that more than 90% of North Korea's trade is with China, so economic pressure would only work with China's active support. He added, however, that China has many reasons for not wanting to push Pyongyang to the brink of collapse and is unlikely to turn the screws that hard.
Regarding U.S. military action, he said that although it might be possible for the U.S. to quickly seize North Korea's major cities, the country's military might well fight to the bitter end, possibly using its stocks of nerve gas or nuclear weapons.
The former diplomat said that neither option is good, adding North Korea knows that the U.S. understands just how unattractive the military option is, and Pyongyang might simply ignore these threats and continue on its current path.
He said that the world ran out of good options for dealing with North Korea long ago and is now stuck with two options that are both dangerous and uncertain to succeed.
He added that with every launch and nuclear test, the chances rise that the North will get its deliverable bomb.
Source: KBS World Radio