Mr Vorontsov, Head of Department of Korean and Mongolian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, visited North Korea in mid-November past year.
North Korean officials, he said, were perplexed at the prevailing opinion in South Korea that the U.S. would not go so far as to actually attack the hermit state. U.S. President Donald Trump, who's said North Korea won't be allowed to develop a nuclear missile capable of hitting the U.S., also said Thursday that he expects the crisis with Kim's regime to be resolved without war.
"By conducting different military actions, one of the objectives that the US might have is to drive a wedge between political leaders and military leaders inside North Korea", he added.
According to him, North Koreans officials believe the USA public opinion is inching closer to supporting a pre-emptive strike because they fear Pyongyang would attack the U.S.as soon as it had the opportunity to do so-a serious misperception, one diplomat told Vorontsov.
Trump turned to an adviser in the room and seemed to suggest her ethnicity should determine her career path, asking why the "pretty Korean lady" isn't negotiating with North Korea on his administration's behalf, the officials said.
Alexander Vorontsov, a Russian academic and North Korea expert, said Pyongyang is convinced Washington is preparing to attack the hermit state.
Mr Vorontsov said: "These were sobering discussions".
Tensions have receded dramatically on the peninsula since North and South have held high-level talks at Panmunjom, and North Korea agreed to send its athletes to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
"We are kind of testing North Korea's ability to respond".
"The United States blabbers on about religious freedom and speaks blasphemously of our republic's highest dignity", the North Korean council said, according to KCNA.
He said North Korea was not bluffing and actively preparing for war.