North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely to take advantage of the political situation in the U.S. and South Korea to complete its nuclear development by 2017, a former North Korean diplomat said Tuesday.

“Due to domestic political procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the U.S. will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea's nuclear development,” Thae Yong Ho, who defected to South Korea in July, said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The isolated nation may attempt to open dialogue with the new governments in the U.S. and South Korea, Thae said. Until then, the Kim Jong Un-led country will go ahead with nuclear tests in defiance to sanctions imposed by the two countries, he added.

“North Korea believes that relentless provocations must shift new [South Korean and U.S.] governments' policy lines into more stability-focused ones,” said Thae, who formerly served as the North’s deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The North will not give up on its nuclear ambitions at any cost, the former diplomat said.

“As long as [Kim is in power] North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons ... the North will not give them up even if the country is offered $1 trillion or $10 trillion in return,” Thae reportedly said. “It’s not a matter of [economic] incentives.”

Last Friday, Thae said that North Korea is likely to carry out a nuclear test during the South Korean presidential election early next year. The country seeks to be recognized as a nuclear country — similar to India or Pakistan — a status rejected by both the U.S. and South Korea, he added. Pyongyang reportedly sees the prime time for getting such recognition during the early stages of the new U.S. administration, which means late 2017 or early 2018.