Hillary Clinton supporter and former New Mexico governor Tom Richardson said North Korea’s nuclear test may have been an attempt to gain leverage for a nuclear deal similar to the one Iran struck with the Obama administration and other world powers.
North Korea claimed it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on Tuesday, although nuclear experts doubt that was the actual device tested. CNN reported the test corresponded with a 5.1 seismic event.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Richardson whether North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was crying out for attention with this latest act of aggression.
“I think he’s trying to get attention, number one, but I think he’s also sending a message that if you want to deal with me, if you want me to curb our nuclear weapons, it’s going to be a very high price,” Richardson said. “It’s a very poor country. They need humanitarian assistance. They need energy assistance. They need all kinds of sanctions lifted. It could be that he’s preparing for a negotiation. I think he’s looking at what happened with Iran, and he says, ‘You know, maybe there’s a deal that can be struck for me,’ although we don’t know this man thinks. He’s very unpredictable.”
The Iran nuclear deal made in July and championed by the Obama White House, despite numerous concessions, was met with celebration in Tehran. The world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism received billions of dollars in sanctions relief, among other sweeteners, as part of the agreement.