kim: Kim Jong Un will ‘strengthen’ North Korea’s nuclear weapons: state media – Times of India


SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to bolster the country’s nuclear weapons program during a speech at a high-profile military parade in Pyongyang, state media reported Tuesday.
“We will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our country’s nuclear capabilities at the highest pace,” Kim said, according to a transcript published by the official Korean Central News Agency.
According to KCNA, Kim made the speech late Monday at a parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.
North Korea is under severe international sanctions for its nuclear weapons program, and repeated negotiations to convince Kim to end it have come to nothing.
Kim said Monday that the country’s nuclear weapons are “a symbol of national power” and need to be diversified.
“In preparation for the turbulent political and military situation and all kinds of crises in the future… we will further increase our nuclear power at the highest possible speed,” he said.
Kim added that while the primary role of the country’s nuclear weapons was a deterrent, they could be deployed if North Korea’s “fundamental interests” were attacked.
The military parade was widely expected to showcase the North’s most advanced weaponry, including the “monster” Hwasong-17 ICBM, as well as hypersonic and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
KCNA said the parade did indeed include the Hwasong-17, which North Korea claims to have successfully tested on March 24.
“The spectators cheered loudly and were extremely excited to see the giant ICBM Hwasongpho-17 that flew into the sky on March 24 to demonstrate the absolute might of Juche Korea and the strategic position of our republic to the world,” KCNA reported.
State media has not yet published any images of the parade.

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