Flanked by missiles, North Korea’s Kim says U.S. and South Korea threaten peace

, Flanked by missiles, North Korea’s Kim says U.S. and South Korea threaten peace, The Evepost National News

Article content

SEOUL — Standing beside North Korea’s largest missiles, leader Kim Jong Un said his country’s weapons development is necessary in the face of hostile policies https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/north-korea-has-right-test-weapons-given-hostile-policies-un-envoy-2021-09-27 from the United States and a military buildup in South Korea https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/skorea-blazes-new-path-with-most-potent-conventional-missile-submarine-2021-09-08, state media said on Tuesday.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Pyongyang was only increasing its military in self-defense and not to start a war, Kim said in a speech at the Defence Development Exhibition on Monday, according to a report by state news agency KCNA.

Kim made the remarks standing next to a variety of weapons, including the country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun showed. Among them was the Hwasong-16, North Korea’s largest ICBM, unveiled at a military parade https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-missiles-idUKKBN26V01I in October 2020, but not yet test-fired.

“We are not discussing war with anyone, but rather to prevent war itself and to literally increase war deterrence for the protection of national sovereignty,” he said, adding that North Korea’s main enemy is “war itself.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

State television footage showed a smiling Kim clapping as shirtless soldiers use their hands to smash bricks placed on colleagues’ chests, as others cut chains wrapped around their bodies in a show of strength.

Kim also saluted jets leaving colored trails during an air show, while strolling through missiles on display.

A spokesperson for South Korea’s defense ministry told a briefing that South Korean and the U.S. intelligence agencies were analyzing the equipment displayed at the exhibition.

The two Koreas have been in an accelerating arms race https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/nkorea-fired-unidentified-projectile-yonhap-citing-skorea-military-2021-09-15, with both sides testing increasingly advanced short-range ballistic missiles and other hardware.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

South Korea recently test fired its first submarine-launched ballistic missile, plans to build major new weapons include aircraft carriers and has bought American-made F-35 stealth fighters.

, Flanked by missiles, North Korea’s Kim says U.S. and South Korea threaten peace, The Evepost National News

North Korea has pushed ahead with its missile program, and analysts say it has begun a major expansion of its main nuclear reactor, used to produce fuel for nuclear bombs.

The United States has said it is willing to hold diplomatic talks at any time with North Korea. Pyongyang has said it is not interested as long as Washington maintains policies such as sanctions and military activities in South Korea.

The United States’ assertions that it holds no hostile feelings toward North Korea were hard to believe in the face of its continued “wrong judgments and actions,” Kim said, without elaborating.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

South Korea’s national security adviser, Suh Hoon, is expected to meet his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan, in Washington on Tuesday to discuss North Korea.

When he arrived in Washington on Monday, Suh told reporters he planned to discuss President Moon Jae-in’s proposal for a formal declaration ending the 1950-1953 Korean War – which ended in an armistice, not a formal peace treaty – and for possible easing of sanctions on North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.

Last week the two Koreas restored their hotlines that the North severed months ago, with Pyongyang urging Seoul to step up efforts to improve relations after criticizing what it called double standards over weapons development.

South Korea’s “unrestricted and dangerous” efforts to strengthen its military is “destroying the military balance in the Korean peninsula and increasing military instability and danger,” Kim said in his speech on Monday.

“Under the absurd pretext of suppressing our threats, South Korea has openly expressed its desire to gain an edge over us in military power on various occasions,” he added. (Reporting by Sangmi Cha and Josh Smith; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Minwoo Park; Editing by Stephen Coates and Nick Macfie)

Advertisement

Story continues below

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.