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Kim Jong Un vows to up the ante against ROK-US forces

Posted July. 14, 2023 07:56,   

Updated July. 14, 2023 07:56


"We will continue to pursue a stronger military offensive until the reactionary policies of the United States and its puppet South Korea face a shameful defeat and surrender in despair,” said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after observing the test launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) known as Hwasong-18. Kim’s remarks reflect his intention to escalate provocative actions by deploying ICBMs targeting the United States and tactical nuclear weapons aimed at South Korea.

According to the North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Thursday, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un personally approved the launch of the Hwasong-18 missile from the Central Command Monitoring Post the previous day. Local map photos published by the Rodong Sinmun captured Kim smiling brightly and applauding.

"The current situation on the Korean Peninsula, where the security environment is seriously threatened by hostile forces, requires us to make even greater efforts to strengthen the nuclear deterrence line set forth at the 8th Party Congress," the North Korean leader stressed. "There will be no change or wavering in the strategic line and policies of our Party and our government, which are relentlessly committed to the continuous development of a more progressive, effective, and reliable weapons system."

In Kim’s remarks and North Korean media reports, they used the term “Namjoseon” or the “Southern part of Joseon (Korean Peninsula).” ' Previously, Kim Yo Jong, Deputy Director of the Workers' Party, had referred to South Korea as “the Republic of Korea” in her speech, criticizing the activities of U.S. reconnaissance aircraft on Monday and Tuesday. North Korea apparently uses different terminologies toward South Korea to distinguish between domestic and external usage. While Kim Yo Jong's speech was only published in the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s external media outlet, the news of the Hwasong-18 missile launch was reported in both the Korean Central News Agency as well as in the Rodong Sinmun, which is read by North Korean residents.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com