North Korea's "desperate" dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies, a senior defector told NBC News.
Thae Yong Ho was North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom until he defected to South Korea this summer. Though not directly involved in his country's nuclear program, he believes it "has reached a very significant level of nuclear development."
Estimates peg North Korea's nuclear arsenal at upward of eight weapons, but with no ability to attach them to a long-range rocket, or ICBM, capable of hitting the U.S. Thae said that ruler Kim Jong Un wants to maintain his rule with ICBMs, and a senior official told NBC News in January that Kim's government was ready to test-fire an ICMB.
"Once he sees that there is any kind of sign of a tank or an imminent threat from America, then he would use his nuclear weapons with ICBM," Thae said in an exclusive interview on Sunday.