A top CIA official has claimed that Kim Jong-Un is a “very rational actor” and downplayed claims that the leader of the secretive hermit state wants to go to war with the U.S.
Speaking to an audience in Washington yesterday, Yong Suk Lee, the deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center claimed that ‘The last person who wants conflict on the [Korean peninsula] is Kim Jong-un.’
Despite President Trump repeatedly referring to Kim as a ‘madman’, Lee instead claimed that he ‘wants what all authoritarian rulers want … to rule for a very long time and die peacefully in his own bed.’
‘We have a tendency in this country and everywhere else to kind of underestimate the conservatism that runs in these authoritarian regimes, and it’s probably the greatest circuit-breaker in any kind of conflict’, he said.
He also described how Kim’s ‘long term goal’ is to instead ‘remove U.S forces from the Peninsula’.
However, the CIA director also warns of further provocation from North Korea, warning that the U.S. should be ready for a new provocation by North Korea on October 9, the date which coincides with the founding of the ruling party in Pyongyang.
‘Stand by your phones’, he said.
Donald Trump has continued to respond to North Korean threats on Twitter, most recently referring to Kim Jong Un as ‘Little Rocket Man’ and urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to avoid negotiations with him.