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U.S. intel official: North Korean nuclear ambitions tied to regime survival

Sydney Seiler
FPI / August 15, 2021

North Korea’s nuclear capability is “designed to ensure the survival” of the dynastic regime currently headed up by Kim Jong-Un, a U.S. intelligence official said.

Sydney Seiler, national intelligence officer for North Korea at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said the North intends to be accepted as a nuclear state despite the U.S.’s continuing reiteration that it will not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.

"We have made clear in all of our negotiations ― what it is we expect from the North ... and what benefits would accrue to the DPRK," Seiler said in a webinar hosted by the Washington Times Foundation, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"But until now, the regime just has simply not wanted to take these exit ramps," he added.

"What February 2019, to me as an analyst, demonstrated was, once again, North Korea was unwilling to go down the credible path of denuclearization," Seiler said.

"When you look at this continued pattern of behavior, you come to a conclusion that at the end of the day, Pyongyang calculates, or at least the Kim regime calculates, its survival in no way is related to an improved relationship with the Republic of Korea, and is not even related to an improved relationship with the United States," Seiler said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

The U.S. intelligence official argued the Kim Jong-Un regime believes that South Korea or the United States would never attack the North, and that what it fears the most is a threat from within.

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FPI, Free Press International
seiler by is licensed under Korea Times / File

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