'North Korea won't use nuclear weapons unless the regime feels really under threat'

'North Korea won't use nuclear weapons unless the regime feels really under threat'

Shashank Joshi says Kim Jong-un won't use nuclear weapons unless pushed

Friday, August 11, 2017

North Korea won't demonstrate its use of nuclear weapons unless Kim Jong-un is really convinced his regime is under threat, according to a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

North Korea has announced that it could fire four missiles towards the US territory of Guam however President Donald Trump has warned the country it should be "very, very nervous" about acting against the US.

Trump has also told the North Koreans his forces are "locked and loaded", ready to meet any aggression from North Korea head-on.

Shashank Joshi told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "We are potentially moving in the direction of a US-Korean confrontation that would carry enormous risks including the risk of nuclear use."

He believes the "biggest risk of nuclear use is in a situation where Kim Jong-un feels his regime is under mortal threat."

In such a situation, he may "demonstrate his resolve to use nuclear weapons and he might first do so against Japan and South Korea as a way of saying to the Americans 'I’m willing to do this.'"

Currently Joshi claims both North Korea and China don't see Trump's threats as "credible" or believe they are "a realistic option."

However he warns: "The more you appear crazy to try and push North Korea into action, the more you may persuade Kim [Jong-un] that the next time he sees a US carrier group steaming over the horizon...the more he feels this could be the prelude to invasion."

Listen to the full interview above