The South Korean government should provoke a collapse of North Korea’s government through a targeted information campaign, former senior diplomat at the North Korean embassy in London Thae Yong-ho told a South Korea variety show on Tuesday night.
“We should collapse the Kim Jong Un regime by causing an internal revolt… I am 100 percent sure that we can do it,” Thae said. “The South Korean government and people should enlighten North Korean citizens to make them stand against Kim Jong Un’s reign of terror.”
Thae has been publicly repeating the argument since a closed-door news conference with South Korean reporters on December 27.
Thae made his debut on a South Korean local talk show broadcast by TV Chosun called “Moranbong Club,” which features North Korean defectors discussing North Korea-related topics.
The former diplomat argued the South should designate “the capital city of Pyongyang and soldiers at the truce line” as a target for the influx of information.
“Both richest and poorest groups of North Korea stay in Pyongyang and those who has power and don’t [co-exist],” Thae said. “There is the sharpest conflict and confrontation in Pyongyang.”
Thae said the cease-fire line is “Achilles tendon” of the state, and that many soldiers from the lower echelons of society serve at the border.
As soldiers on the China – North Korea were easily exposed to illicit transactions due to economic difficulty, Thae believed the soldiers on a ceasefire line would be an appropriate target for psychological warfare.
“The North Korean regime can be easily demolished… if we start to work on agitating the mind of North Korean soldiers.”
The former deputy ambassador, who defected last year, also expressed his views on North Korea’s nuclear threats and explained his motives for defecting.
Even though DPRK’s former second-in-command in London couldn’t recall the precise moment he decided to defect, he confessed he had undergone “a change of mind and ideology for a quite long time.”
Thae said he had told his sons that “I will cut off your slave chains as your father from this moment.”
Thae also said the North would be faced with “a very tough situation” in the coming year, as he expected U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to follow a “hawkish” policy toward the North.
“North Korean people consider Barack Obama’s strategic patience a ‘tactical disregard.’ The U.S. sits by and watches the North conducting nuclear and missile test believing the country will collapse,” Thae said. “(Strategic patience) was ‘a quite favorable condition’ for the North.”
The North had assumed Hilary Clinton would win the election until last summer, he said, as the North considered Trump an “abnormal figure” who could “only represent some strata of the U.S. society” but “wouldn’t win an election.”
Despite Trump’s victory being an unexpected result for the North, Thae argued the North’s foreign diplomacy would maintain its hardline against Washington.
Thae also predicted Pyongyang would continue to make “a series of provocations” in 2017.
Kim Jong Un regime had called on the country to carry out a nuclear test “as soon as possible at a time when both the U.S. and the South undergo political transition,” Thae revealed on the variety show.
“But the Kim Jong Un regime doesn’t tell anyone when the country conducts a nuclear test and test fire a missile, and even the foreign ministry doesn’t know.”
Thae pointed out Kim Jong Un regime had entered “the final line of the relay race” to develop its nuclear weapons.
“Kim Jong Un, who received the baton from Kim Jon Il, is running the final straight line after running around a curve,” Thae said, suggesting that the North could speed up its nuclear program.
As of this week, the former diplomat is known to be working for the Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) run by the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
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