Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned again this week that the North could preemptively use its nuclear weapons if threatened.
Kim expressed a “firm will” to continue developing his nuclear-armed military so that it could “preemptively and thoroughly contain and frustrate all dangerous attempts and threatening moves, including ever-escalating nuclear threats from hostile forces, if necessary,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.
KCNA said Kim called his military officials to praise their work during a parade, where the North showcased the biggest weapons in its nuclear arsenal, including intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach the US homeland.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the East Sea on May 4, South Korea’s military said. The latest launch marks the North’s 14th show of force this year. It came after the North test-fired what it claimed to be a tactical guided weapon on April 16.
Speaking to thousands of troops and spectators mobilized for the parade, Kim vowed to develop his nuclear forces at the “fastest possible speed” and threatened to use them if provoked. He said his nuclear weapons would “never be confined to the single mission of war deterrent” in situations where the North faces external threats to its “fundamental interests”.
US State Department deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter said the United States was aware of reports that North Korea could be preparing to conduct a nuclear test, which she said would be deeply destabilizing for the region and undermine the global non-proliferation regime. (Indian Express)