WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: Bill Richardson speaks during the Refugees International's 32nd Anniversary Dinner at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on May 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)2011 Getty Images
Former presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said that North Korea would be committing suicide if it attacks the United States.
In an interview with CNN, Richardson, who visited North Korea earlier this year with Google executives to talk about the Internet, said: “There’s been a lot of rhetoric [from North Korea] and not a lot of action… but I think our response has been appropriate: cool, calm and at the same time putting our military resources ready in case there’s an emergency.”
“But if they try anything with the United States, it’s suicidal. That’s not going to happen.”
Tensions have been high in recent days between North and South Korea, and the North’s military warned Thursday that it had been authorized to attack the United States. North Korea is angry about sanctions against its nuclear program and joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea.
Richardson added that the Obama administration needs to have a set plan for how to deal with North Korea and the ongoing developments.
“Something is needed to cool things down,” said Richardson, a Democrat. “I think there has to be an end game to the administration’s policy and the end game in my view is diplomacy – some kind of special envoy, some kind of South Korean diplomat.”
Many North Korea observers express doubt that its leader, Kim Jong-un, will carry out on his threats against the United States and other nations. But other experts say the international community must not dismiss his threats.
North Korea reportedly started moving a medium-range missile to its east coast on Thursday, near an industrial complex that employs numerous South Koreans.
Though North Korea lacks a medium-range missile that could reach the United States, experts say, it could prepare one in under a month that could be ready for launch possibly by April 15, the anniversary of the the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea and Kim Jong-un’s grandfather.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.