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North Korea Joins Trump’s ‘Arms Race’, Plans ‘Prime Time’ Nuclear Weapons In 2017

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Last week, president-elect Donald Trump shocked the political world when he called for a “nuclear arms race” during an interview with “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski. Now, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is planning a “prime time” nuclear weapons push in 2017 to take advantage of leadership transitions in the United States, a high-ranking defector said, AFP reported Thursday

In his first interview since fleeing his post as North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain, Thae Yong-Ho said Kim Jong-Un had issued a directive to “complete” nuclear development by the end of next year, according to the report published by Business Insider.

Thae told local reporters: “With South Korea holding presidential elections and the US undergoing an administration transition, the North sees 2017 as the prime time for nuclear development.”

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Former North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain, Thae Yong-Ho. Photo: Imgur

North Korea carried out two nuclear tests in 2016 and numerous missile launches in pursuit of its ultimate goal of a deterrent capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the US mainland.

The North Korean leader’s main aim is to “open a new dialogue with the US from the position of a confirmed nuclear power,” he said.

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Washington has repeatedly vowed that it would never accept the North as a nuclear state. But that may change with the incoming Trump administration.

Thae, who escaped to the South with his wife and two sons, is the highest-ranking diplomat ever to defect from North Korea.

The North’s state media denounced him as “human scum”, and accused him of embezzling state funds, raping a minor and spying for South Korea in exchange for money.

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