Tags: North Korea | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | kim jung un | rex tillerson | coup | secretary of state

Tillerson on NK-Led Kim Coup: 'I Want to Be Careful About That'

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Monday, 20 November 2017 06:52 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With the administration's designation Monday of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pointedly did not rule out the dictatorship of strongman Kim Jong Un might be overthrown from within.

At a surprise appearance before the White House press corps shortly after the president announced North Korea will be considered a sponsor of terrorism, Tillerson was asked by Newsmax whether there was any intelligence Kim could be overthrown — either by the military in Pyongyang or by the strongman's own family.

"Well, I want to be a little careful about how I answer that," Tillerson told us. "You're well aware of a number of executions that have occurred within his inner circle and within [sic] many of the military people who are close to him. So, I will leave it to your own interpretation."

Among the most notorious of executions was that of Jang Song Thaek, head of the ruling Worker's Party and an uncle of Kim Jong Un. Long considered the No. 2 political figure in North Korea and a likely reformer of the country's totalitarian regime, Jang was executed in December of 2013 following the executions of his two top deputies within the party.

Tillerson's comment Monday about possible regime change from within differs sharply from the secretary of state's statement in August, which all but ruled out ending Kim's rule.

"We do not seek a regime change. We do not seek the collapse of the regime. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula," he said during an Aug. 1 news conference in Washington, D.C.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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At a surprise appearance before the White House press corps, Newsmax asked Rex Tillerson whether there was any intelligence Kim could be overthrown — either by the military in Pyongyang or by the strongman's own family.
kim jung un, rex tillerson, coup, secretary of state
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Monday, 20 November 2017 06:52 PM
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