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Spy Chief Nominee Says North Korea Apparently Has No Will to Denuclearize on its Own

National Intelligence Service chief nominee Kim Kyou-hyun takes an oath at the start of his confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul on May 25, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)
National Intelligence Service chief nominee Kim Kyou-hyun takes an oath at the start of his confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul on May 25, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

North Korea appears to have no intent on giving up its nuclear weapons on its own, South Korea’s state intelligence chief nominee said Wednesday.

Kim Kyou-hyun, named to lead the National Intelligence Service, presented the view during his parliamentary confirmation hearing, just hours after Pyongyang fired three ballistic missiles into the East Sea amid concerns it may even carry out another nuclear test soon.

“I think North Korea scarcely has a will to denuclearize on its own,” Kim said.

On the COVID-19 outbreak in the North, he said people there appear not to have received vaccinations, while it remains unconfirmed whether or not leader Kim has been vaccinated.

The North seems to have received emergency medical supplies from China, he added.

Kim, formerly a veteran diplomat and senior presidential aide, voiced skepticism over the North’s daily report of suspected coronavirus infections and deaths, saying, “The figures are hard to believe.

“There is no way to verify (the numbers) objectively, but it seems to be far from the truth,” he said.

North Korea has claimed its outbreak of COVID-19 has been slowing down in recent days, with the total number of fever cases since late April standing at more than 3.06 million.

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