Ex-CIA Official: 'People Are Wrong When They Say (Kim's) Crazy'

By Susan Jones | September 5, 2017 | 5:28am EDT
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un waves to his people, as seen on North Korean television. (Photo: Screen grab from North Korean video)

(CNSNews.com) - North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un may be paranoid, but he's not crazy, former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, one day after North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb.

Morell described Kim as a “rational” man with a clear plan: "He wants to demonstrate his ability to put a U.S. city at risk of nuclear attack," Morell said.

And there are three reasons for that, he explained to guest host Margaret Brennan:

"One is, he wants to enhance his own political prestige at home. He's put a lot of political capital in being able to do this at home. That's -- that's one reason,” Morell said.

The second reason is, he wants to be able to deter us. He believes that we want to overthrow him. He believes that we want to reunite the Korean Peninsula on the South's terms. Right? We don't. We don't want to do that, but he believes it. So, he sees these weapons as the ultimate deterrent.

And then I think third reason he wants them is, he wants to be able to extort us. So, once he can demonstrate this capability, then he'll say, come and sit at the table. I'm a nuclear power. Let's have a different kind of conversation, and let's start the conversation by saying you, the United States, need to leave the Korean Peninsula.

So, I think he wants to do all three of those things.

I think, Margaret, that people are wrong when they say he's crazy. He's not crazy. He's very rational in his own world. He is smart, he is decisive, he is persistent, but he's also an attention-seeker. He's also paranoid in the I talked about. And he's also aextraordinarily violent. So, this is a different kind of guy.

Brennan asked Morell what options President Trump has in dealing with such a man:

Morell said the first option is diplomacy: "Try to convince this person to step back from the brink. That's failed for the last 25 years. And there's absolutely no reason to believe it's going to be successful now. But I think we need to try, and we need to push that.

"But if that fails, which I think it will, we're left with two options, a military option, which would be probably not be successful in fully degrading his capabilities and could create probably most likely a second Korean war, thousands of deaths. Or the other option is, acceptance of this capability, containment, deterrence, just the way we contained and deterred the Soviet Union."

Morell described them as "very tough options--bad options."

President Trump tweeted on Sunday, "The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea."

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