North Korean leader says ‘ready to mobilise’ nuclear weapons

Published July 29, 2022
NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an event in Pyongyang to mark the 69th anniversary of the end of 
the Korean War.—AFP
NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an event in Pyongyang to mark the 69th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.—AFP

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country was “ready to mobilise” its nuclear deterrent in any future military clash with the United States and South Korea, state media said on Thursday.

Washington and Seoul have repeatedly warned that Pyongyang is preparing to carry out its seventh nuclear test — a move that the United States has warned would provoke a “swift and forceful” response.

In Kim’s latest speech to mark the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War — known as “Victory Day” in the North — he said the country’s armed forces were “thoroughly prepared” for any crisis.

“Our country’s nuclear war deterrent is also ready to mobilise its absolute power faithfully, accurately and promptly in accordance with its mission,” Kim said in a speech on Wednesday, according to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Speaking to war veterans on the 69th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, Kim emphasised the country’s “thorough readiness” to “deal with any military clash with the United States”.

His latest threats come as South Korea and the United States move to ramp up joint military exercises, which have always infuriated the North as Pyongyang considers them rehearsals for invasion.

This week, the US military held live-fire drills using its advanced Apache helicopters stationed in the South for the first time since 2019.

Kim also slammed South Korea’s new, hawkish president Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May and has vowed to take a tougher stance against Pyongyang — which includes a plan to mobilise a preemptive strike capability.

“Talking about military action against our nation, which possess absolute weapons that they fear the most, is preposterous and is very dangerous self-destructive action,” Kim said of the Yoon administration, which he branded a group of “gangsters”.

“Such a dangerous attempt will be immediately punished by our powerful strength and the Yoon Suk Yeol government and his military will be annihilated.”

The North has carried out a record-breaking blitz of sanctions-busting weapons tests this year, including firing an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range for the first time since 2017.

Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been stalled since a summit between Kim and then-US president Donald Trump in February 2019 broke down over sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Taliban anniversary
15 Aug, 2022

Taliban anniversary

A YEAR ago on this day, the Afghan Taliban rolled into Kabul as the Western-backed government fell like a house of...
Extreme measures
Updated 15 Aug, 2022

Extreme measures

Government has overreacted to a degree that has given ammunition to the PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’.
A depraved society
15 Aug, 2022

A depraved society

IF the extent of sexual violence against women and children is any measure of a society’s moral degradation, then ...
Taking stock
Updated 14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

There are numerous reasons behind our predicament, and many of our wounds are self-inflicted.
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.