Published On: Sun, Aug 13th, 2017

'They’ll think he's BLUFFING' North Korea expert says Trump vow will not stop Kim Jong-un


Dr John Nilsson-Wright, a senior research fellow for north east Asia at Chatham House, said North Koreans will view the American President’s threats to hit back at the rogue nation as him “bluffing”.

He said the billionaire tycoon’s failure to deliver on “tough action” in the past undermined his vow to meet any attack on the US territory of Guam with “fire and fury”.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the academic said: “I think this is potentially very dangerous, we know that President Trump likes to shoot from the hip, we also know he’s the sort of president who likes to promise tough action and not deliver.

“If you think about his response to his critics at home, both within the opposition party and within his own party.

“This is a man who frequently threatens to do tough things – threatening to sue his opponents – I think the danger in this situation is that the North Koreans will have taken the measure of the man and believe that he’s bluffing and believe therefore they can launch their missiles with impunity.”

Dr Nilsson-Wright said Pyongyang’s lack of belief in the US launching strikes at would allow it to go ahead and carry out nuclear weapons tests regardless.

He said: “Perhaps not a direct attack on Guam but in a more likely scenario, an attempt to test their WMD [weapons of mass destruction] capability – the question then is what does Donald Trump do in that situation, when his bluff is called?”

The commentator said Kim Jong-un was more of a “gut risk-taker” than President Trump.

He said: “He’s shown himself willing to push the envelope, I would say he’s more of a gut risk taker than Donald trump is and that’s where the real risk lies.”

The comments come after Mr Trump said America was “locked and loaded’ in readiness for war following the growing tensions over North Korea’s refusal to end its nuclear weapons programme.

He said: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully, Kim Jong-un will find another path.”


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