N. Korea won’t think twice about ‘pressing button’ if US strikes, defector and former diplomat warns

Thursday, November 2, 2017
By Paul Martin

2 Nov, 2017

Pyongyang will not hesitate to strike South Korea if Washington launches an attack on its territory, a former North Korean diplomat and defector from the state’s regime has warned.

While the US has not ruled out a military option against North Korea amid heightened tensions in the peninsula, one of the highest-ranking North Korean defectors, Thae Yong-ho, has said that a military scenario would prompt Pyongyang to direct its fire at its southern neighbors.

“North Korean officers are trained to press the button without any further instructions from the general command if anything happens on their side,” Thae Yong-ho told a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee entitled “An Insider’s Look at the North Korean Regime” on Wednesday.

“If there is any sound of fire or bomb or strike from Americans, the military artilleries and short-range missiles will fire against South Korea,” Thae added.

Thousands of short-range missiles deployed at the demarcation line are ready to fire “at any moment,” the former diplomat said. There are tens of millions of South Koreans living within 70km to 80km of this area, who could have become a “human sacrifice,” according to Thae.

“I strongly believe that if there is any preventive or surgical strike of whatever, war will be won by America and South Korea, there is no doubt about it, but we have to see the human sacrifice from this military option,” the defector said.

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