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129 2017-02-08 Realities of North Korea by Former North Korean Diplomat Thae Yong-ho

Realities of North Korea by Former North Korean Diplomat Thae Yong-ho

Arirang TV aired an episode of Arirang Special featuring an interview with Mr. Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean diplomat. Mr. Thae Yong-ho is regarded to be the highest ranking North Korean official to defect to South Korea. In this episode, Arirang Special relayed the news on the realities of the Kim Jong-un regime through the interview with Mr. Thae and discussed the state of affairs in Northeast Asia.
Mr. Thae reminisced about his time as a diplomat and commented that, "I've watched many South Korean movies and dramas, and now that I'm here I feel that Korea is even more open and economically advanced than I had thought." He talked about the impression he received after his defection and the recent developments in his life.
Mr. Thae cited his skepticism about the North Korean regime as the reason behind his defection and revealed the realties in North Korea. He commented on the sentiments people felt at the time the Kim Jong-un regime first came to power and said, "Kim Jong-un's existence was a strictly kept secret at first. But people had high hopes for the young leader, who had studied overseas."
He also commented on the continued reign of terror and the realities of the North Korean regime. He said, "There is no hope in North Korea. I think you can say that the North Korean regime will be no more after Kim Jong-un." He emphasized that the hereditary succession in North Korea will end with Kim Jong-un.
In regards to the North Korean nuclear problem and effective measures to pressure North Korea, Mr. Thae emphasized the need for strong Korea-US alliance and a firm resolve as he said, "Korea and the US must not negotiate with North Korea on the nuclear problem. North Korea's proposal may seem good on the surface, but accepting that would only lead to acknowledging the North Korean regime. You both must show a stronger stance."He ended his interview by saying, "There is only about 5 years to go before reunification. It can only be brought about when both North and South Koreas desire it." He emphasized the strong need for the cooperation between North and South Korea to realize reunification.

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