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N. Korea may pursue nuclear threat after US midterm election

N. Korea may pursue nuclear threat after US midterm election

Posted September. 15, 2022 07:57,   

Updated September. 15, 2022 07:57


The intelligence agencies from South Korea and the U.S. have reportedly analyzed the recent passage of North Korea’s bill allowing pre-emptive nuclear strike to build a ground to conduct the seventh nuclear test and turn around its current dynamics by successfully winning its nuclear disarmament negotiations.

“Seoul and Washington think the North is trying to highlight its justification of nuclear weapons development before carrying out its seventh nuclear test,” a source from the Korean military said on Wednesday. It could be interpreted that Pyongyang is aiming to blame the U.S. for its nuclear development while showing confidence in its increased deterrence power of nuclear weapons, to deliver the message that the denuclearization of Seoul and Washington would not work on it. The two countries believe that North Korea will be able to strike them once it succeeds in the seventh test, the next step after its strategic nuclear development. The authorities of both countries said that the North would come forth after that to negotiate nuclear disarmament as an equal to the U.S.

Seoul and Washington are closely monitoring the possibility that the North would take the U.S. midterm election on Nov. 8 as a chance to escalate its provocation. This is after its Party Foundation Day on Oct. 10 and China’s 20th Communist Party Conference starting on Oct. 16, which will confirm‎ the long-term power seizure (three terms in a row) of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“There is a possibility that the North will try to save Xi’s face by avoiding provocative moves during China’s largest political events,” South Korean government sources said. “However, it could soon press the nuclear button before or after the U.S.’s election to make it look like Biden’s administration has failed in its North Korea policy and nuclear deterrence.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com