North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to accelerate his country’s nuclear weapons development while overseeing a large military parade showcasing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), state media reported on Tuesday.
The parade took place on Monday night during the North Korean armed forces’ 90th anniversary celebrations, the state news agency KCNA said.
Pyongyang has recently stepped up weapons testing and showcased military power as detachment talks with the United States have stalled and a new conservative administration has taken power in South Korea.
U.S. and South Korean officials said there were signs of new construction at North Korea’s only known nuclear test site, which has been officially closed since 2018, indicating Pyongyang may be preparing to resume nuclear weapons testing.
“Our Republican nuclear forces must be fully prepared to fulfill their responsible missions and put up their unique barriers at any time,” Kim told the rally, according to KCNA.
He said the basic mission of the Northern nuclear force was prevention, but its use “cannot be limited to one mission only”.
“If any power tries to violate the fundamental interests of our country, our nuclear power will have to resolutely achieve an unexpected second mission,” Kim said.
Hong Min, a senior fellow at the Korean National Unification Institute in Seoul, said Kim’s speech could signal a change in his nuclear doctrine to open up the possibility of “nuclear first use”.
“While he did not state what constitutes a‘ second mission ’or‘ basic interest ’, he points out more broadly that nuclear force may be used pre-emptively, not only when they are attacked, but also in certain circumstances,” Hong said.
Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said Kim’s statement may be addressed to the new government of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who has warned of a possible early attack if an attack from the North is imminent.
DISPLAY OF WEAPONS
Yoon took office on May 10th. His transition team criticized Pyongyang for developing offensive weapons while appearing to continue negotiations.
“The march proves that North Korea has outwardly been calling for peace and dialogue over the past five years but in reality it is focused on developing ways to threaten not only the Korean peninsula but Northeast Asia and world peace,” said deputy spokesman Won Il-hee. . briefing.
“Ensuring the ability to deter serious and real threats to North Korea is the most pressing task,” he added, vowing to strengthen alliances with the United States and expand Seoul’s deterrence.
Wearing an emperor-style white suit, the smiling Kim waved and shook hands with senior officials when North Korea’s famous largest ICBM, the Hwasong-17, appeared in the parade, state television footage showed.
The missile was announced in 2020 and first tested last month, but Seoul officials believe it exploded in the air.
The video featured what looked like hypersonic missiles and submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBMs) carried on trucks and launch vehicles.
Kim saluted as a squad of people wore orange dangerous substance suits and gas masks, a clear symbol of the anti-coronavirus effort.
The parade also included rows of conventional weapons such as rocket launchers and prototype tanks, as well as tens of thousands of soldiers stepping on geese shouting “Long live!” to Kim Jong Un.
North Korea is banned by a United Nations Security Council resolution from developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, and is consequently under economic sanctions.
On April 16, Kim oversaw the launch of what the national media said was a short -range missile that could deliver tactical nuclear weapons.
Visiting Seoul last week, U.S. envoy to North Korea Sung Kim vowed to “respond responsibly and decisively to provocative behavior,” while outlining his readiness to engage with Pyongyang “anywhere, without conditions”.
North Korea said it was open to diplomacy, but had dismissed Washington’s offer as insincere and criticized so -called “hostile policies” such as sanctions and joint military exercises with the South.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by AGRASMARTCITY staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)