Kim Jong-un ratchets up nuclear threats against US and South Korea amid talk of potential war

Pyongyang, North Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wrapped up the year with fresh threats of a nuclear attack on Seoul and orders for a military arsenal build-up to prepare for a war that can "break out any time" on the peninsula, state media reported Sunday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wrapped up the annual meting of the ruling Workers' Party with orders to mobilize for a war that can "break out at any time."
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wrapped up the annual meting of the ruling Workers' Party with orders to mobilize for a war that can "break out at any time."  © via REUTERS

Kim lambasted the US during a lengthy speech at the end of five days of year-end party meetings that set his country's military, political, and economic policy decisions for 2024.

The meeting announced plans for further military development in the coming year, including launching three more spy satellites, building unmanned drones, and developing electronic warfare capabilities, as well as strengthening nuclear and missile forces, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

This year, Pyongyang successfully launched a military spy satellite, enshrined its status as a nuclear power in its constitution, and test-fired the most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile in its arsenal.

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Kim accused the US of posing "various forms of military threat" and ordered his armed forces to maintain the "overwhelming war response capability," according to KCNA's account of the meeting that ended on Saturday.

The meeting concluded that it is a "fait accompli that a war may break out on the Korean peninsula any time due to the enemies' reckless moves for invading the DPRK," KCNA said.

Kim Jong-un takes rhetoric on US and South Korea to new level

Kim ordered his county's military forces to prepare for a potential nuclear confrontation with South Korea and the US.
Kim ordered his county's military forces to prepare for a potential nuclear confrontation with South Korea and the US.  © via REUTERS

In an effort to deter Pyongyang, Washington deployed a nuclear-powered submarine in the South Korean port city of Busan this month and flew its long-range bombers in drills with Seoul and Tokyo.

The North has described the deployment of Washington's strategic weapons, such as B-52 bombers, in joint drills on the Korean peninsula as "intentional nuclear war provocative moves".

The military "should rapidly respond to any possible nuclear crisis and put continuous spurs to the preparations for a great event to suppress the whole territory of south Korea by mobilizing all physical means and forces, including nuclear forces in contingency," Kim said.

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Kim told the meeting he would no longer seek reconciliation and reunification with South Korea, noting the "uncontrollable crisis" that he said was triggered by Seoul and Washington.

It would be a mistake, he insisted, to regard a country "who publicly defined us as the 'principal enemy'... as the partner of reconciliation and reunification."

Cover photo: Collage: via REUTERS

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