N.Korea FM lauds Kim for thawing inter-Korean ties
07 April, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Carmen Reese
The British Ministry of Defence believes North Korea will be capable of launching a nuclear strike as early as this summer and will have intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach British soil. Officials in Seoul have said the summit, which is to take place in Panmunjom, will focus on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, although Pyongyang has not confirmed this through its state-run media.
They don't think Kim Jong-un is likely to press his small red button, though, as the committee, in a quite frank discussion about the possibility of nuclear armageddon, adds: "It will be obvious to Kim Jong-un that initiating a nuclear exchange is bound to lead to North Korea's annihilation: the polar opposite of his objective of regime survival".
The report, entitled Rash or Rational?:North Korea and The Threat It Poses, argues that the country has significantly stepped up its nuclear testing over the past 24 months.
"The Ministry of Defence does not consider that the United Kingdom will be a target of North Korean nuclear missiles, as its regime does not believe the United Kingdom to be a threat", they wrote.
The North's diplomatic outreach comes after an unusually provocative year in which it conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles created to target the USA mainland.
MPs began gathering evidence for their report in September, around the time when Pyongyang was celebrating the "perfect success" of its sixth test with a hydrogen bomb. "Within the next six to 18 months, it is nearly certain to be able to achieve this capability". Earl Howe, a British defence minister told the committee the North would be ready to carry out a nuclear strike in "six to 18 months".
However, tensions on the peninsula have showed increasing signs of easing in recent months after the North proposed summits with the South and their "imperialist enemy" the US.
Meanwhile, separate officials from the two Koreas will meet on Saturday to discuss the establishment of a communication hotline between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
'He is ruthless, like other Communist dictators before him, but he is rational'. "He is therefore unlikely to give them up now".
Speaking separately, a source in China's Dandong, a port city lying on the Yalu River across from North Korea, told RFA he had seen a group of buses carrying North Korean workers arrive on March 30 from North Korea's Sinuiju city, just across the border. The gifts, most of which the United Nations banned from export to the North, were worth around four hundred thousand dollars, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo reported, citing Hong Kong-based Apple Daily.
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