North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the country’s “nuclear warheads need to be ready for use at any time”, according to the country’s state news agency.
The EU established diplomatic relations with North Korea in 2001 but contacts are minimal. Tensions with Pyongyang ramping up once again after the country reacts to new sanctions with a show of force. “And in the future, we’re going to build a powerful and prosperous country here, relying on our own development“.
The sanctions come after the country’s fourth nuclear test in January, and last month’s long-range rocket launch widely considered to be a ballistic missile test.
Johns Hopkins University’s 38 North project – which monitors North Korea – said: “In addition to activity at the test area, vehicles and personnel are present at the Sohae launch pad”.
Mr. Kim’s rhetoric follows a unanimous vote by the United Nations Security Council earlier this week to increase sanctions on North Korea aimed at forcing Pyongyang to drop its nuclear-weapons program.
In a televised statement Friday, North Korea lambasted the United States and “other major powers” for the sanctions that passed unanimously at the United Nations Security Council, where China and Russian Federation are permanent members.
According to news reports, Kim said the turmoil on the divided Korean peninsula had escalated and urged that North Korea needed to shift its military strategy to one of “pre-emptive attack”. As one USA official told CNN’s Barbara Starr, the regime has tested nuclear devices that it says have been miniaturized.
KCNA reports that Kim wants the country’s nuclear weapons to be ready for use at any time and says the country will ready its military so it’s prepared to carry out preemptive strikes.
Kim criticised South Korean President Park Geun-hye in his first direct published mention of her by name for acting “in league with the US scoundrels”, adding, “her hysteria will precipitate only her ruin in the long run”, KCNA said. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of China, Hong Lei, said China is hoping that the sanctions are consistently implemented while avoiding harm to ordinary citizens of its close ally.
On Friday, South Korea and the USA began a working group to put together plans for the deployment of an advanced US missile-defense shield in South Korea.
“But whilst it would be foolish to dismiss North Korea’s threats, it’s unclear just how capable its nuclear arsenal is”. The possibility in such a situation that a misunderstanding, or an irrational delusion, could lead to the launch of highly destructive weapons toward South Korea, Japan, Australia, or even the United States is probably higher than most people are willing to admit.