VIDEO - North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons has direct implications on Middle East peace and poses a threat to Israel's security, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Stanley Roth said Sunday. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Roth said that despite UN sanctions imposed on the reclusive communist state, China and South Korea continue to trade with Pyongyang, which continues to pursue the necessary fissionable materials and the know-how to make a nuclear bomb. Admitting that there is no military solution to the problem, especially as the US military is overstretched in operations across the globe, Roth predicted that the regime of Kim Jong Il will eventually become a nuclear power. He added that Pyongyang, motivated by a need to replenish its empty coffers, will most likely seek to sell nuclear materials to hostile elements, a development that could destabilize the Korean peninsular and its Asian neighbors. 'Sale of nuke materials would be catastrophe' He noted that 8 kilos (about 18 pounds) of fissionable materials are enough to produce a bomb, a quantity that could be smuggled out of North Korea with relative ease. "It (North Korea) has exported all its other resources and there is no reason to believe that nuclear resources will be different. This is a threat to the whole world, and especially to Israel. Even one sale could result in catastrophe," he told the Conference. Roth added that North Korea's claim that it conducted a nuclear test in October last year came as no surprise to experts. The West's failure to apply enough diplomatic pressure on North Korea to coerce it to abandon its nuclear plan has been interpreted as weakness by Iran, which continues to defy international demands that it halt its nuclear program. Continuing diplomatic talks with North Korea while threatening tougher sanctions are the only hope to halt its nuclear program, he said. Roth added that the United States will have no option but to abandon the six-party talks which include Japan, China, South Korea, North Korean and Russia, in favor of direct negotiations with Pyongyang. The head of the US delegation to the six-party talks, Christopher Hill, arrived in Beijing on Sunday for talks with Chinese officials about the next round of negotiations.