A high-level North Korean defector who worked in Kim Jong Un’s regime has sent President Donald Trump a letter warning that talks of denuclearization have been a ploy and North Korea won’t ever agree to surrender their nuclear weapons.
A copy of the letter, obtained and reported by Washington Times, suggested the defector had also advised Trump to return to full economic sanctions against North Korea and prepare for a “preemptive strike” against North Korean missile sites. The defector also reportedly suggested the U.S. take up a “psychological warfare campaign” to sew dissent against Kim’s regime and inspire a coup.
“As long as Kim Jong-un remains in power, denuclearization of North Korea is permanently impossible because [Mr. Kim] regards nuclear weapons as the last means to defend his survival,” the defector warned Mr. Trump. “You have stopped Kim Jong-un from launching missiles and conducting nuclear tests, but he is still mounting nuclear threats behind the scenes of dialogue and is attempting to take advantage of the relationship with you.”
The letter said an anti-Kim psychological warfare campaign could “have the same power as a nuclear bomb,” and would get North Koreans to solve the problem internally.
Two named national security officials confirmed the letter was received by Trump: Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger and acting National Security Council Asia Director Allison Hooker.
Another unnamed former U.S. official said the defector left North Korea more than a year ago and has since played a key role in advising U.S. agencies.
The North Korean defector provided a copy of the letter to Washington Times on the condition the defector’s identity remains hidden, citing security reasons. The defector claims he worked in the upper levels of the North Korean government and served for three decades as an “executive” for the ruling Workers’ Party of North Korea.
Speaking to Washington Times, the defector said Trump should heed his warnings because “I know and worked with the top players in [Pyongyang].”
The defector has claimed not only had Kim “tricked” Trump, but that South Korean President Moon Jae-in was somehow complicit in the deception.
“Both Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un tricked the U.S. president. As we know, Kim Jong-un has promised to denuclearize but has not given up a single nuclear weapon in a year and five months,” the letter read.
The Moon government may take issue with the characterization, but according to Washington Times, it is not the first instance of North Korean defectors criticizing the South Korean leader’s approach of appeasing Kim.
The White House has declined requests to discuss the letter, though Trump has repeatedly claimed Kim’s sincerity through his letters over 18 months of negotiation efforts.
The newly revealed letter comes amid North Korean warnings of a year-end deadline by which the U.S. must meet its terms for denuclearization. North Korean officials have warned the U.S. will choose “what Christmas gift it will select to get” from North Korea, hinting at a return to hostilities between the two countries.