Kim Jong Un says North Korea is accelerating the preparation of “nuclear weapons” for war
North Korea successfully launched its latest intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-18, a missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload and delivering it anywhere in the United States.
- South Korea's spy agency said on Thursday that North Korea is likely to carry out military provocations before key elections in South Korea and the United States.
- North Korea urged North Korea's military industry, nuclear weapons sector, and civil defense sector to “accelerate the pace of completing preparations for this war.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country's industrial and military sectors to prepare for war with the United States, citing “unprecedented” confrontational activity by the United States and its allies.
During the 2024 planning meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Wednesday, Kim said that an in-depth analysis indicates that the “dangerous political and military situation” on the Korean Peninsula has “reached its limit.” The government news agency reported Thursday. The news agency said that the military industry sector, the nuclear weapons sector and the civil defense sector were urged to “further accelerate the completion of preparations for this war.”
Kim's statements continue a pattern of threatening rhetoric in recent months. The move comes less than two weeks after the White House “reaffirmed its firm commitment to providing extended deterrence” against Pyongyang and rejected any military options, including nuclear ones.
He added, “Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies is unacceptable and will lead to the end of the Kim regime.” White House statement He warned that any nuclear attack targeting South Korea “would be met with a swift, overwhelming and decisive response.”
Last month, North Korea placed a military spy satellite into orbit after two previous failed attempts. The United States and its allies consider the satellite a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Kim pledged on Wednesday to expand cooperative relations with “independent, anti-imperialist countries in preparation for the rapidly changing international political landscape.”
South Korea's spy agency said Thursday that Kim is likely to carry out military provocations before key elections in South Korea and the United States in 2024. The National Intelligence Service cited North Korea's record of carrying out provocations ahead of general elections in South Korea. Kim also recently brought back key figures involved in high-level provocations against Seoul, South Korea Yonhap News Agency mentioned.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yul ordered troops on Thursday not to wait for orders to respond in the event of an attack, saying the military “must crush the enemy's desire to carry out provocations immediately,” Yonhap reported.
Harry Kazianis, director of national security affairs at the Center for the National Interest — a conservative public policy think tank based in Washington — told USA TODAY he is concerned that war with North Korea could become a “real possibility.”
Kazianis said that Pyongyang has been developing tactical nuclear weapons for years, and even testing them could spark a crisis with Washington and Seoul. He added that North Korea could test an intercontinental ballistic missile by sending it thousands of miles into the Pacific Ocean to ensure that its missiles actually reach the United States.
Kim has strengthened his ties with Russia in recent months, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a Russian spaceport, in September. Putin is striving to arm his war against Ukraine, and US authorities said last month that Pyongyang had shipped more than a thousand containers of military equipment and ammunition to Russia.
Kazianis said Kim believes he is capable of carrying out his provocations and “will never pay the price” because China and Russia are fully in the North Korean camp due to tensions with Washington.
He added: “The Kim family also knows that in 2024 America will look inward toward its presidential elections, giving them room to cause chaos and not feel the pain.”
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