North Korean leader warns against ‘preventive’ use of nuclear force to counter hostile forces

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reiterated his warning that Pyongyang could “preemptively” use its nuclear weaponry to counter hostile forces, state media reported on Saturday.

Kim told senior military officials that to “maintain the absolute superiority” of North Korea’s armed forces, the country should be able to “preemptively and comprehensively contain and thwart all dangerous attempts and threatening movements…if necessary.” , the official KCNA news agency. reported.

Pyongyang must continue to build up its arsenal in order to have “the overwhelming military force that no force in the world can bring about”, Kim said, calling it “a lifeline guaranteeing the security of our country”.

The leader’s comments followed similar remarks at a military parade on Monday, when he said he could use his atomic arsenal if North Korea’s “core interests” were threatened.

Kim made his final comments during a meeting with senior military personnel to salute their work at Monday’s parade, which commemorated the 90th anniversary of the country’s armed forces and showcased its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Despite biting sanctions, North Korea has doubled down on Kim’s military modernization drive, testing a slew of banned weapons this year while ignoring offers for talks from the United States.

Last month, Pyongyang tested a full-range ICBM for the first time since 2017, and satellite imagery showed signs of activity at a nuclear test site.

The series of weapons tests comes as South Korea prepares for a new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, who is taking a more hawkish approach to Pyongyang and has not ruled out a preemptive strike if needed .

Analysts say Kim’s warning shows he is not open to dialogue with Seoul’s new government.

“Kim’s remarks demonstrate no interest in engaging with the incoming Yoon administration in South Korea or in reviving denuclearization talks with the United States,” said Leif-Eric Easley, professor of international studies at Ewha University in Seoul.

(AFP)

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