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Jansing & Co.
updated 4/1/2013 1:20:33 PM ET 2013-04-01T17:20:33

Former New Mexico Governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson tells Jansing & Co. he's concerned about the war rhetoric coming from North Korea.

Former New Mexico Governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said that he’s concerned about the war rhetoric coming from North Korea Monday on Jansing & Co.

“It’s still a tinderbox there,” said Richardson. “I do think the administration was right to send that message of the B-2 Stealth Bombers. You have to let them (North Korea) know we’re around and even if they consider these rhetorical flourishes as not action, nonetheless, they are really increasing tensions in the peninsula.”

In addition to the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the U.S. has flexed its military muscle by sending F-22 Stealth Fighter jets and B-52 bombers to conduct exercises in South Korea in the past week.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been making almost daily threats of nuclear strikes on South Korea and the United States. “He’s somebody that is still trying to position himself as the real leader of the country,” said Richardson. “My worry is that the hard line elements of the Socialist Workers Party of the North Korean Military, which really runs the show, are pulling his strings and he’s kind of on the sidelines.”

But Richardson does see one encouraging sign of hope. An industrial facility run jointly by North and South Korea remains open. If North Korea were to suddenly shut it down, it would be seen as a sign the North is getting ready for war.

Video: US flexes its military might as nuclear tensions escalate with North Korea

  1. Closed captioning of: US flexes its military might as nuclear tensions escalate with North Korea

    >>> the united states is flexing its military might as tensions escalate with north korea . f-22 stealth fighter jets have been deployed to take part in the annual war games with south korea joining b-52 bombers and b-52 stealth bombers dispatched last week. kim jung-un has been making threats to the u.s., something officials here have been taken seriously.

    >> not an empty threat. i wouldn't be concerned about them hitting a u.s. mainland or any u.s. territory . the real threat is to what north korea might be boxing itself into. kim jung-un is trying to establish himself. he is trying to be the tough guy. he is 28, 29 years old. and he keeps going further around further out. i don't know if he can get himself back in. my concern would be he may feel to save fair, he has to launch an attack on south korea or base in the pacific.

    >> bring in form her new mexico governor and former ambassador to the u.n., bill richardson . good to see you, governor. good morning.

    >> thank you, chris.

    >> let me get your reaction to what you just heard from congressman king, i know you visited north korea just last year. how concerned are you that kim jung-un could back himself into a corner and might launch a strike just to save face ?

    >> well, i am concerned. he backs himself into a corner he is trying to appeal to two audience, one is the north korean people, second slit north core ryan military. he never served in the military. he is 30 years old. he is somebody that is still trying to position himself as the real leader of the country. what i see, however, chris over the weekend is a lot of what the north koreans is doing is part of their game plan , bluster, threat threats no action yet, good news. that is the only good news i see. it is still a tinderbox there and i think the administration was right to send the message of the b-2 stealth bombers . tough let them know we are around and even if they consider these retore rickal flourishes as not action, nonetheless, they are really increasing tensions in the peninsula. government the last three morning, they have launched long-range rockets, withdrew from the korean armistice, conducted that underground nuclear test and they also responded with a propaganda video showing missiles shooting the b-52 out of the sky. they are certainly not without rhetorical flourishes, the spokesperson said to totally cut the wind pipes and show them what real war is like. i mean, it's the kind of stuff, governor, sounds like crazy talk but does beg the question how unstable is kim jung-un?

    >> there's uncertainty who is pulling you the strings. my worry is the hard line elements of the socialist workers party of the north korean military , which really runs the show, are pulling his strings and he is kind of -- he is kind of on the sidelines. the worry i also have over the weekend, the korean workers party , north korean workers party , basically said they are going to continue on a track of, one, improving their economy, which is going to be very hard to do with their system but ting their nuclear weapons development. that is worrisome. we have had a posture, republicans and democrats, to try to cool them down in that area, that's not good news. on the other hand, you see signs that, for instance, the kay song industrial facility, a joint north korea / south korea prayer, employed 54,000 north koreans has not closed down, despite threats by the north koreans .

    >> how sigg -- [ overlapping speakers ] that factory, one of the key things that would be an indicator?

    >> yes, i think that is an indicator. the north koreans have said we are going to shut it down. but it's 54,000 jobs for them. it is hard currency for them that would really be a tough economic decision for them. they haven't shut it down. they have threatened it my hope is that things cool down after this north korean workers party congress and maybe the two sides, north and south korea, get into some kind of a dialogue. that's my hope. i'm not holding much hope for that for now.

    >> former governor and u.n. ambassador, bill richardson . always good to see you. thanks for coming

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