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Kim Jong Un says N. Korea is a nuclear state

Posted July. 29, 2020 07:39,   

Updated July. 29, 2020 07:39


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the North a “nuclear state” and mentioned “self-defensive nuclear deterrence” for the first time since the U.S.-North Korea denuclearization negotiations and talks between the two Koreas began in 2018. It is interpreted as a move to negotiate nuclear arms reduction, not denuclearization, as a nuclear state with U.S. President Donald Trump who is losing support ratings in the run up to the presidential election in November.

During a conference of veterans on Monday marking the 67th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War, Kim said North Korea had advanced to a nuclear state, overcoming high pressure and numerous challenges. According to the Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean leader also said the North is currently in a strategic position that the world cannot ignore. The strategic position refers to a status of a nuclear power. It is the first time in four years that Kim called North Korea a “nuclear state” since the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea in May 2016.

“With our reliable and effective self-defensive nuclear deterrent, there will be no more war on this earth, and our country's safety and future will be secured forever,” Kim said in a speech. “Now nobody can ignore us […] or they will be made to pay a dear price. We will never cease to build the strongest and undefeatable national defense power.”

This shows that Pyongyang has already become a nuclear state with considerable nuclear capacity, and it is unwilling to forgo nuclear weapons, which the North believe are the only way to guarantee national security. It is the first time that Kim directly mentioned nuclear deterrence this year. The North highlighted that it would continue to strengthen its nuclear deterrence announced at the fourth enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission in May.

Kim expressed hostility towards the American imperialistic invasiveness and brutality, while paying his respect to China for sending troops to the Korean War.

Oh-Hyuk Kwon hyuk@donga.com