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Expert: North Korea Won’t Actually Start A Nuclear War

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North Korea’s recent acts of aggression via threats of nuclear warfare are intended to intimidate the U.S., but according to a former U.S. military official, the Communist dictatorship is unlikely to follow through on any of these dangerous claims.

Robert Collins, who worked with the U.S. military in South Korea for 31 years, explained Tuesday at an event promoting his report “Human Rights Denial in the North Korean Capital,” that international officials are completely misinterpreting the purpose of North Korea’s recent actions. According to the expert, the threats “are designed to provoke a reaction,” and are made so North Korea can feign the appearance of a world leader.

Collins said that while the reopening of the plutonium reactor Tuesday could be reason for concern, it is mainly aimed at riling up the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) antagonists.

Several countries, including the United States, China, Japan, and South Korea, have reacted with concern. Currently, the countries are discussing how to best respond to the actions of North Korea, but Collins claims these efforts are a bit misguided.

The DPRK has a long history of bluster and brinkmanship — North Korea is all talk and some action, Collins said. During an offensive front, for example, “they [North Korea] take actions that seem consequential.”

Collins said the countries speaking with North Korean diplomats “need to understand when they engage a North Korean [diplomat], he’s not making the decisions.” The diplomats’ intent is to report to the higher ups he explained, and added, “It’s the party that runs things, they call the shots and use others to deliver messages.”

Follow Francesca Collins on Twitter.

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