Ex-North Korea diplomat says he wants to meet with Trump's team

Thae Yong Ho said he would not hesitate visiting the United States.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Jan. 9, 2017 at 12:36 PM
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SEOUL, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A senior North Korean diplomat who fled Pyongyang's embassy in London said he wants to meet with members of the incoming Donald Trump administration to provide them with information on the Kim Jong Un regime.

Thae Yong-ho, who defected to Seoul last summer, said Sunday he would eventually like to meet with U.S. policymakers and inform the American people about the "reality" of North Korea, Yonhap reported.

"If properly informing the [U.S. government] of the true intentions of North Korea's nuclear development helps the United States to establish a rational, precise policy toward North Korea, I would not hesitate visiting the United States," Thae said.

Thae had previously told South Korean reporters not even an incentive of "$1 trillion, $10 trillion," would make Kim Jong Un give up his nuclear weapons.

Thae had also said he would work to prevent a catastrophe on the Korean peninsula, according to Yonhap.

"The most important thing is to maintain a strong U.S.-South Korea alliance," Thae said while emphasizing the need for Washington and Seoul to strengthen cooperation on North Korea policy.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is quite uncertain in 2017. It is unforeseeable how the Trump administration will implement its North Korea policy," Thae said, adding the situation must be stabilized to avoid a crisis.

Thae also said the political situation in South Korea is adding to the unpredictability, but the country is ready to play a bigger role in solving problems on the peninsula.

The former North Korea diplomat added Kim Jong Un's declaration of readiness to test an intercontinental ballistic missile is aimed at governments in transition in the United States and South Korea.

Kim, however, has been unable to observe ceremonies for his mother, Ko Yong Hui, because of her background as a former resident of Japan, Thae said.

North Korea media avoids publicizing Ko's birthday or her life history, according to Thae.

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