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British Analyst: For NKorea's Kim, Backing Down Would Be 'Unimaginable Humiliation'

Image: British Analyst: For NKorea's Kim, Backing Down Would Be 'Unimaginable Humiliation'
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right). (AP)

By    |   Friday, 14 Apr 2017 10:41 PM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would "willingly" take his poverty-stricken nation to the "brink of war" with the United States – though he knows he can't win – because it'd be an "unimaginable humiliation" to back down, according to a British analyst.

In a commentary for the Daily Mail, Mark Almond, director of the Crisis Research Institute in Oxford, argues "a terrible game of dare is unfolding between the Supreme Leader and America's new president."

According to Almond, both Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump "knows his domestic position could implode if, after so much bluster, he shows weakness."

"Trump could live with that – but not Kim Jong-un," Almond wrote, adding: "If his grip on power at home falters, he might well take his country – and the rest – down with him."

North Korea's leader "knows he can't win, but he also knows that a second Korean War will be a bloodbath because he has a vast arsenal… with which he can hit South Korean cities and the U.S. bases there," Almond wrote.

"To save his own rule – and after the ominous threats emanating from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, in recent days it would be an unimaginable humiliation for him to back down – Kim Jong-un is prepared for North Korea to take the suicide option with devastating consequences for the region."

But in Trump, Kim Jong-un "is up against a man who likes to surprise, too," and conflict on the Korean Peninsula would have repercussions for China as well, he argues.

"Kim Jong-un may not have a missile that can reach Washington but he has weapons that can rattle the windows of the Communist leaders in Beijing," Almond wrote.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would "willingly" take his poverty-stricken nation to the "brink of war" with the United States – though he knows he can't win – because it'd be an "unimaginable humiliation" to back down, according to a British analyst.
british, analyst, north korea, kim jong-un
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Friday, 14 Apr 2017 10:41 PM
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