N. Korea threatened to make more nukes, citing US hostility

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal as he revealed a list of high-tech weapons under development, saying that relations with the United States The fate of the person depends on whether he abandons his enemy or not. Policy, state media reported on Saturday.

Kim’s comments during an important meeting of the ruling party this week were seen as pressuring the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has called Kim a “thug” and his summit with President Donald Trump Is criticized.

The Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying that “the key to establishing new relations between North Korea and the US is whether the United States withdraws its hostile policy.”

“It will not smooth North Korean-American relations with Biden in office over the next four years,” said Nam Sung-woo, a North Korean expert at the University of Korea in South Korea, likely to add any concessions from Kim Was not. .

Kim said he would not use his nuclear arsenal unless “hostile” forces intended to use their nuclear weapons first against North Korea. He also suggested that he is open to talks if Washington is also there, but insisted that North Korea must strengthen its military and nuclear capability to counter US hostilities.

Kim did not cite any specific US actions. North Korea has previously called for regular US military exercises with South Korea, flights by US surveillance aircraft, and US military presence in South Korea as evidence of hostility. In particular, North America-South Korean views the exercises as an invasion rehearsal, although allies have repeatedly denied.

Kim listed state-of-the-art weapon systems that he said are under development. These include a multi-warhead missile, underwater nuclear missiles, solid-fueled long-range missiles and spy satellites. He said North Korea should boost its ability to strike accurately at a distance of 15,000 kilometers (9,320 mi), a clear reference to the US mainland, and create small, light nuclear warheads to be mounted for long distances. Technology has to be developed for. Missile more easily.

“Kim said,” There is nothing that we can do to strengthen our strength and nothing would be more silly and dangerous than having an easy attitude at a time when we clearly see that the enemy’s cutting-edge weapons are already Is being increased much. “” The reality is that we can achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula when we continually build our national defense and suppress US military threats. “

It is unclear whether North Korea is capable of developing such a system. It is one of the most thriving countries in the world, and estimates on the exact status of its nuclear and missile programs vary widely. In 2018, the South Korean government said that North Korea is estimated to have 60 nuclear weapons.

“What they want to tell the US, we are developing new strategic weapons that you can see as the most intimidating. Do you want to come to the negotiating table? “Said Choi Kang, vice president of Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies. “While Kim leaves the door open for talks, he is still sending Biden a message that he is not an easy (dialogue) partner.”

The ruling party Congress held the conference for the first time in five years. KCNA said Kim spoke for nine hours during a review of party projects from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Congress Workers Party is the top decision-making body, and is being touted as the face of Kim, the toughest of his nine-year rule due to a triple blow to his already fragile economy – triple-related border detainees. The moment appears. The North’s external trade has declined sharply, a range of natural disasters last summer and US-led sanctions.

During his first day speech, Kim called the difficulties “the worst” and “unprecedented”. He also admitted that his previous economic plans had failed and vowed to adopt a five-year development plan.

Since assuming power in late 2011, Kim, who turned 37 on Friday, has simultaneously pursued the so-called “Bynggeon” policy for economic development and expansion of its nuclear deterrent.

After a serious race for weapons tests in 2016–17, Kim claimed to have the ability to strike the US mainland with nuclear missiles. The weapons test invited a new round of US-led sanctions, including restrictions on key export items such as coal, seafood and textiles, and a significant curating of oil imports.

In 2018, Kim suddenly entered into nuclear disarmament negotiations with Trump, seeking to lift the sanctions without giving a complete nuclear program. But his diplomacy broke during a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, in early 2019, when Trump declined Kim’s request for comprehensive sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of its main nuclear complex, for a limited nuclear move what will happen.

Kim has since pledged to build her nuclear capability.

Biden, who assumed office on January 20, is unlikely to hold a direct meeting with Kim until the North Korean leader takes significant denuclearization steps.


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