Diplomat: ‘Crazy’ N. Korea deserves hard line

By Stewart Stogel

New York – A senior South Korean diplomat with strong ties to the intelligence community insists now is the time to increase, not decrease, pressure on what he calls the “crazy” North Korean regime.

Speaking with WND on background because of the sensitivity of his position, the South Korean characterized the regime of Kim Jung-un as not guided by normal diplomatic protocols. And he said there continue to be massive human rights abuses.

Many have described the North Korean dictatorship as “crazy,” but that coming from a South Korean with a strong non-political intelligence background is considered significant.

Reflecting the harder line taken by the new South Korean government of Park Geun-hye, the South Korean diplomat revealed that the North has been engaged in new human rights “abuses.” He characterized those abuses as “crimes” that both the United Nations and the International Criminal Court should pursue.

“They (the North) have been engaged in new human rights abuses, it is a crime. The international community needs to hold them responsible,” he said.

As to whether the government in Seoul releases details on the new allegations and officially calls for a formal investigation remained unclear.

“I am watching the human rights issue very closely. … I have been instructed to pursue this with the goal of getting the U.N. to impose new sanctions.”

The recent expulsion of 57 U.N. personnel from Pyongyang was proof that North Korea is “sensitive” to Seoul’s allegations, the diplomat insisted.

The North Korean United Nations mission in New York did not respond to
inquiries for comment.

On the current standoff between Pyongyang and Washington, the South Korean downplayed the prospect of an all-out war on the Korean peninsula.

“We just don’t know,” he confessed.

What was made clear is that the Seoul government would not react unilaterally to any North Korean attack.

Any South Korean reaction would be coordinated with the United States, the diplomat suggested.

While not saying so directly, the diplomat admitted that the White House has an unofficial veto over any South Korean move against North Korea.

Because of that, the South Korean believes the current dilemma reflects a desire by Kim Jung-un to open a channel directly with the United States.

“He [Kim] is secure in his position. … There may be some competition inside the military but it is minor, have no doubt. … Stories of Kim trying to please the generals are not accurate,” he said.

Reports that two medium-range ballistic missiles have been moved to North Korea’s east coast and placed under local command was all window dressing, he said.

“I suspect they will launch them,” said the diplomat, but he insisted that if the order to launch is given it will come from Kim directly.

On the issue of Pyongyang hiding any exotic weapons or sleeper agents in the South waiting to attack, the diplomat explained that the issue is not one of major concern for his government but would not say any more.

“I do not have much to say on that. … I am not concerned,” he said.

Perhaps the factor which could prove more influential than publicly acknowledged is the economy

The South Korean economy has been booming over the past several years. Companies such as Hyundai and Samsung have exploded on the international market.

As such, any attack on Seoul could have an enormous symbolic impact.

The recent decision by the North to temporarily close a joint economic operation on the border (the Kaesung industrial complex) is one sending a message to the South Korean business community.

“They have done this before,” said the South Korean.

Kaesung employs just 475 South Korean managers but more than 50,000 North Korean factory workers.

“I suspect the South Korean businessmen are moving quietly to pressure
both sides not to overreact,” the diplomat said.

The U.S. and U.N. had no comments on the South Korean’s views other than to point out that President Barack Obama will confer with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in the Oval Office on Thursday.

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