North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promises to build ‘invincible’ army, denounces US

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed a rare display of weapon systems and vowed to build an “invincible” army, accusing the United States of creating tension and failing to take action to prove it. ‘They have no hostile intentions towards the North, state media reported. Tuesday.

In a seemingly continuous effort to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, Kim also said his drive to strengthen his army was not aimed at South Korea and that there shouldn’t be another war between Koreans against each other. others.

Kim gave the speech on Monday at the “Self-Defense-2021” Defense Development Exhibition, “an event intended to mark the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party the day before. The event showcased a range of new weapons, including intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea has already tested or displayed in a military parade.

“The United States has frequently reported that it is not hostile to our state, but there is no action-based evidence to make us believe it is not hostile,” Kim said, according to the official Korean central news agency. “The United States continues to create tension in the region with its erroneous judgments and actions. “

Calling the United States the “source” of instability on the Korean Peninsula, Kim said his country’s most important goal is to have an “unstoppable military capability” that no one can dare to challenge.

Kim has accused South Korea of ​​hypocrisy for calling North Korea’s weapons development provocative while spending heavily to increase its own military capabilities, including purchasing advanced US stealth fighters. But he always said his army was not targeting South Korea.

“I repeat that South Korea is not the one our military forces have to fight against,” Kim said. “Surely we are not strengthening our defense capacity because of South Korea. We should not repeat a horrible story of compatriots using force against each other.”

Photos from North Korean state media showed Kim, dressed in a dark suit, walking down a red carpet lined with large truck-mounted missiles, passing a multiple rocket launching system, and watching jets fly in formation .

The Seoul Defense Ministry said South Korean and US intelligence authorities were analyzing the North Korean weapons on display but did not give details. Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Monday’s exhibition was the first of its kind since Kim took power in 2011.

Yang Wook, a military expert who teaches at Hannam University in South Korea, said the weapons shown in the photos were largely those the North had previously displayed in military parades. Among them was what appears to be a new ICBM that North Korea disclosed in a military parade last year but has not been tested, Yang said. This missile mounted on an 11-axle launcher during the parade is considered the largest ICBM in the North to date.

South Korean media reported that Monday’s exhibit also featured another ICBM and shorter-range missiles that North Korea has already tested.

“Basically, North Korea wants to send this message: ‘We will keep developing new weapons and arming ourselves with nuclear force, so don’t impose sanctions with them because we can’t agree. on double standards, ”Yang said. .

North Korea has sent mixed signals to its rivals in recent weeks.

Last month, North Korea carried out its first missile tests in six months, including nuclear-capable weapons that could hit targets in South Korea and Japan, including US military bases there. But North Korea has always re-established dormant phone and fax channels with South Korea and has said it is open to resuming official talks with South Korea if the conditions are met.

Some experts say North Korea is trying to use South Korea’s desire to improve relations to push it to convince the United States to relax punitive economic sanctions against the North and make other concessions .

North Korea has long sought to improve relations with the United States, as it wants sanctions relief and a better security environment to focus on reviving its dying economy. High-stakes diplomacy between countries collapsed in early 2019 after the Americans rejected North Korea’s calls for extensive sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament measures.

The United States has recently repeatedly offered talks with North Korea “anywhere, anytime” without preconditions. Kim called such an offer a “cunning attempt” to cover up US hostility against North Korea because he wants Washington to ease sanctions or suspend regular military exercises with Seoul before talks can resume.

Despite his recent missile tests, Kim still maintains a self-imposed 2018 moratorium on long-range missile testing directly targeting the American homeland, a sign that he still wants to preserve the chances of future talks with Washington.


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