North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un vowed to bolster nuclear capability if anyone tries to take away the fundamental interests of the country. “Our nukes can never be confined to the single mission of war deterrent,” said Kim in an apparent threat to strike back if attacked. North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons under the banner of “deterring a war,” but now it has made it clear that it would expand the purpose and scope of the use of nuclear weapons.
At a nighttime military parade on Monday held to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army, Kim said that North Korean military will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop the nation’s nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace, practically forewarning the seventh nuclear test and raising tension with the inauguration of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration to come soon.
At the military parade, North Korea showed off new weapons targeting South Korea and the United States. The new SLBM it unveiled Tuesday is longer in size than the North Star-5 it unveiled in January and features a bigger warhead with a longer firing range, which is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, showing off its capacity to strike mainland U.S.
The presidential transition committee criticized North Korea. “North Korea has been making empty claims of peace and dialogue for the past five years, but it actually focused on developing weapons that pose a threat to the peace in Northeast Asia and the world,” the committee stated. Cheong Wa Dae did not make an official statement. Critics say that the Moon Jae-in administration, which has been obsessed over the Korean Peninsula peace process during his term, will not be spared from responsibility, with North Korea proclaiming to continue advancing its nuclear capabilities.
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