'This Week' Transcript: Secretary of State John Kerry

KERRY: We don't know -- I mean, North Korea remains relevantly opaque. It is not easy, but we do have insights and the insights that we have tell us that he is spontaneous, erratic, still worried about his place in the power structure and maneuvering to eliminate any potential adversary or competitor and does so, obviously ruthlessly. I mean, you saw the pictures of his uncle being arrested in front of everybody at this...

RADDATZ: And this was so public?

KERRY: I mean, it really reminded me of a video that we saw of Saddam Hussein doing the same thing, having people plucked out of an audience, and people sitting there sweating and nobody daring to move or do anything.

This is the nature of this ruthless, horrendous dictatorship and of his insecurities.

And I think we need to factor that into the urgency of getting China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, all of us, to stay on the same page, and to put as much effort into the denuclearization as possible.

To have a nuclear weapon, potentially, in the hands of somebody like Kim Jong-un just becomes even more unacceptable.

RADDATZ: I want to move the other headline, which is that of Iran and Robert Levinson, the FBI agent who was reportedly working with the CIA in Iran, disappeared seven years ago. His family has confirmed to ABC News that he did have ties to the CIA. I know you're not going to confirm anything like that, but I want to tell you what his family said. They say that the U.S. government has abandoned and betrayed him and is getting lip-service from the Obama administration on their efforts for his release.

Has there been any real progress?

KERRY: Well, there hasn't been progress in the sense that we don't have him back, but to suggest that we abandoned him or anybody has abandoned him is simply incorrect and not helpful.

The fact is, that I have personally raised the issue, not only at the highest level that I have been involved with, but also through other intermediaries. We don't have any meeting with anybody who has something to do with Iran or an approach to Iran where we don't talk to them about how we might be able to find not just Mr. Levinson, but we have two other Americans that we're deeply concerned about...

RADDATZ: Do you have any...

KERRY: We're looking for proof of life, we're working on several processes that I'm not free to talk about, but there are a number of different channels that are being worked and they're being worked aggressively.

RADDATZ: Do you believe that the Iranian government is responsible for his disappearance?

KERRY: I think the Iranian government -- I can't tell you what happened or how the sequence was, but I think the Iranian government has the ability to help us here. And we hope they will.


RADDATZ: Much more of my exclusive with Secretary Kerry coming up, but first, let's go to Jonathan Karl back in Washington -- Jon.


Now to the other big news this week, Washington got back to work. A modest budget compromise announced by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray brought Republicans and Democrats together, imagine that, but could it tear apart the GOP? Tea Party activists blasted the deal and Speaker of the House John Boehner fired back.

The powerhouse roundtable is ready to take it on, but first here's ABCs Jeff Zeleny.


BOEHNER: Are you kidding me?

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