WASHINGTON, U.S. - Despite the months of hostile talk indicating a possible war breaking out, now a top CIA spook has said that the North Korean dictator is actually a “very rational actor.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed changed emotions for Kim Jong Un over the months, from calling him a “tough cookie” who he would be “honored to meet” to labelling him an “evil madman” and “Little Rocket Man.”
Kim Jong Un has meanwhile called Trump “deranged” and a “dotard.”
Yong Suk Lee, deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center has said, “The last person who wants conflict on the [Korean Peninsula] is Kim Jong Un.”
CIA’s Korea Mission Center is a special agency outfit that deals with the increased nuclear and ballistic missile threat from Pyongyang.
Making the comments at the CIA Ethos & Profession of Intelligence conference in Washington, Lee said that 35-year-old dictator of the rogue state, Kim Jong Un “wants what all authoritarian rulers want … to rule for a very long time and die peacefully in his own bed.”
Lee added, “We have a tendency in this country and everywhere else to kind of underestimate the conservatism that runs in these authoritarian regimes, and it’s probably the greatest circuit breaker in any kind of conflict.”
He added that all “bluster and rhetoric aside,” Kim has “no interest in going toe to toe” with the U.S. military and its allies.
He said, “Bluster and rhetoric aside, Kim Jong Un has no desire to go toe to toe with [U.S. and South Korea's] combined forces command. Kim Jong Un wants what all authoritarian rulers want ... to rule for a long time and die peacefully in his own bed.”
Lee said, Kim’s “long-term goal is very clear, [and] it’s been clear for the history of the Kim family regime, to come to some kind of big-power agreement with the United States and remove US forces from the peninsula.”
Lee and other CIA officials believe there has been a "clarity of purpose" to the way the North Korean ruler is acting on the world stage.
They believe that Pyongyang's goal is to gain recognition as a major nuclear power and eventually negotiate a deal with the United States that sees American forces leave the Korean peninsula.
Lee said about Kim Jong Un, "He wants to keep us out of his sandbox,” and predicted another test or provocation could be coming as soon as October 9, which marks the founding of the country's ruling political party, as well as the Columbus Day holiday in the U.S.