Politics

North Korea Threatens To Build More Nukes, Cites Us Hostility

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal and develop more sophisticated weapons systems, saying the fate of relations with the United States depends on whether it abandons its hostile policy, state media reported Saturday.

Kim’s comments made this week during a key meeting of the ruling party were seen as applying pressure on the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has called Kim a “thug” and has criticized his summits with President Donald Trump.

The Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying the “key to establishing new relations between (North Korea) and the United States is whether the United States withdraws its hostile policy.”

Kim said he won’t use his nuclear arsenal unless “hostile forces” intend to use their nuclear weapons against North Korea first. But he stressed North Korea must further strengthen its military and nuclear capability as the danger of a U. S. invasion increases.

Kim didn’t cite any specific U. S. actions. North Korea has previously called regular U.S. military drills with South Korea, flights by U.S. surveillance aircraft and the American military presence in South Korea as proof of hostility. In particular, the North views the U.S.-South Korean drills as an invasion rehearsal, though the allies have repeatedly denied that.

Kim ordered officials to develop missiles with multiple warheads, underwater-launched nuclear missiles, spy satellites and nuclear-powered submarines. He said North Korea must also advance the precision attack capability on targets in the 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles)-striking range, an apparent reference to the U. S. mainland, and develop technology to manufacture smaller, lighter nuclear warheads to be mounted on long-range missiles more easily.

“Nothing would be more foolish and dangerous than not strengthening our might tirelessly and having an easy-going attitude at a time when we clearly see the enemy’s state-of-the-art weapons are being increased more than ever,” Kim said. “The reality is that we can achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula when we constantly build up our national defense and suppress U. S. military threats.”

It’s unclear if North Korea is capable of developin… (Read more)

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