Former U.S. National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster commented on Thursday (local time) that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will continue to pursue nuclear weapons, stressing the importance of strong sanctions on the nation. McMaster served as the second national security advisor in the Trump administration from February 2017 and March 2018.
McMaster said in a seminar in Washington that it should be kept in mind that Kim has aspired to maintain nuclear weapons with the aim of committing extortion and causing discord between Seoul and Washington, adding that North Korea has longed for unification under communism and to do this, the North could drive a wedge in the U.S.-R.O.K. alliance as its first step.
The former national security advisor pointed out that any empty promise on denuclearization should not lead to the lessening of sanctions although a U.S.-North Korean summit meeting can work as a breakthrough on the negotiating table. He added that the key point is not to repeat the mistake of lifting sanctions too hastily, emphasizing that it is just absurd to do so. According to his view, secondary boycotts and military threats can help achieve denuclearization, and third-party sanctions could work out in the event that Chinese banks provide North Korea with illegal capital.McMaster expressed his concerns that North Korea has potent artillery fire capabilities that can reach any area of Seoul and strong deterrence in conventional weapon systems although some experts see that it has pursued nuclear development for the sake of greater deterrence.
Pyongyang will possibly execute an additional SRBM launch to increase its accuracy, following three rounds of missile tests since May, Michael Elleman, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote on 38 North, a website devoted to analysis about North Korea. The researcher analyzed that the new missile system may likely outperform the previous ones in terms of accuracy, pointing out that the North can immediately deploy the new missiles for combat.