A defector from North Korea is cautioning against underestimating Kim Jong Un when it comes to nuclear weapons -- and he says President Donald Trump may be key to stopping him.
Song Byeok escaped from the North in 2002 and currently resides in South Korea. In a new interview, he told The Independent the threat of nuclear war is real as long as Kim Jong-un is in power.
"I think Kim Jong Un could wage nuclear war if his power is threatened and that is why he needs to be removed as soon as possible," he said.
The 48-year-old defector used to create propaganda art for the regime, now he creates protest work.
"He would wage nuclear war even if he knew it would mean finishing himself and harming the North Korean people because he is young and ambitious and doesn't care about the lives of North Koreans," he said.
He also warned that conflict with the dictator is "unavoidable" but that Trump might be able to help solve the problem
"I really hope that Trump will remove Kim Jong-un – that is the only way that North Korean people can be free and happy," he said.
The Trump administration has stated on multiple occasions that all options are on the table concerning North Korea and Vice President Mike Pence noted last month that the U.S. is ready to "bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on the regime in North Korea" until the country ends its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Choe Il, North Korean ambassador to the U.K., has since dismissed these threats and indicated that the regime is planning on conducting its sixth nuclear test sometime in the future.
The interview comes on the heels of the election of South Korea's new president, who immediately launched international efforts to diffuse tension over North Korea's weapons development