WATCH: Former State Dept Adviser Informs MSNBC That Tough Rhetoric WORKS On North Korea


Balbina Hwang, a former State Department senior adviser, explained Tuesday that shows of strength work, and have always worked, on North Korea.

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi wanted to know if Kim Jong Un was “blinking” after President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ tough rhetoric in response to North Korean threats.

“Yes and no,” Hwang said. “Amidst all of the fiery rhetoric, I’ve always said that this is a war of rhetoric but not a war of action.”

“I think we should understand that a lot of the rhetoric was exaggerated, but, frankly, in the end what always has worked…is if the United States shows enough threat of force, North Korea always backs down,” she explained.

Hwang further argued that North Korea is a “rational actor” that will back down when threatened with obliteration, much like other countries would do.

“[Kim Jong Un] is very predictable and very rational,” she said, before telling Stephanie Ruhle that even with Trump’s fiery rhetoric, the United States’ policy with North Korea has remained “clear.”


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