(WASHINGTON) -- Congressman Peter King offered a blunt assessment Sunday of North Korea and Kim Jong-un, saying the young leader is trying to come off as "a tough guy" while ratcheting up tensions in the Korean peninsula.
Appearing on ABC's This Week, the New York Republican expressed concerns that the more Kim talks tough, the more Kim will feel the need to act on his threats and "launch some sort of attack on South Korea, or some base in the Pacific."
Since conducting an illicit underground nuclear test in February, Pyongyang's rhetoric has grown increasingly belligerent by announcing it no longer recognizes the armistice that ended the Korea War and then, on Saturday, declaring a "state of war" with South Korea and engaging in an "all-out" conflict in the U.S.
While Washington considers Kim's talk as more bluster than anything else, King said his chief worry is that Kim is painting himself into a corner and will have to follow through on his saber-rattling with some sort of dangerous action.
The lawmaker has little regard for Kim or his government, telling This Week, "It's really like an organized crime family running a territory. They are brutal. He is brutal. His father is brutal. His grandfather is brutal."
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