The North Korean leader stated that Pyongyang only increased its military power for “war deterrence,” not to cause conflict.
According to official media reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea’s weapons development is necessary in the face of the US’s “hostile” policy and South Korea’s military buildup that undermine stability on the peninsula.
According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday, Kim Jong-un said in a speech at the National Defense Development Exhibition that Pyongyang was only adding troops for self-defense, not for launching a war.
The KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un as saying: “The United States often sends signals that it is not hostile to our country, but there is no basis for believing that it is not.”
“For our future generations, we need to be strong. We must be strong first. The military threats our country faces are different from what we saw ten, five or three years ago,” he said, adding that the tensions on the Korean peninsula will not Solved easily because of the “United States”.
Seoul Hannam University’s military strategy researcher Yang Uk told Al Jazeera that Kim Jong-un’s message about the so-called “hostility” of the United States is nothing if it is not “continuous.”
Photos from the ruling party newspaper “Rodong Sinmun” showed Kim Jong-un making the above remarks standing in front of various weapons, including the Hwasong-16 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Hwasong-16 is North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile. It was unveiled at the military parade in October 2020, but it has not yet been tested.
“We don’t discuss war with anyone, but to prevent the war itself and literally increase the deterrence of war to protect national sovereignty,” he added.
The two countries have been accelerating the arms race, and both sides are testing increasingly advanced short-range ballistic missiles and other hardware.
Nuclear reactor expansion
South Korea recently tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile and plans to build major new weapons including aircraft carriers. It also purchased F-35 stealth fighter jets made in the United States.
North Korea has been advancing its missile program, and analysts say it has begun a large-scale expansion of its main nuclear reactor, which is used to produce nuclear bomb fuel.
The United States has expressed its willingness to hold diplomatic talks with North Korea at any time, while Pyongyang has stated that it is not interested as long as Washington maintains policies such as sanctions and military activities in South Korea.
Kim Jong-un said: “Faced with North Korea’s continued’misjudgments and actions’, the United States’ claim that it is not hostile to North Korea is unbelievable.”
Last week, Pyongyang and Seoul reconnected their cross-border hotlines. This is a sign of a thawing relationship. The pro-participant President Moon Jae-in of the South has only a few months left in his term.
But Kim blamed Seoul for its “ambitious” and “two-sided illogical” attitude.
He added that their “unrestricted and dangerous attempts to strengthen military forces are disrupting the military balance on the Korean peninsula and increasing military instability and danger.”
“Under the absurd excuse of suppressing our threat, South Korea has publicly expressed on various occasions that it hopes to gain an advantage in military power.”