Kim Jong-un says nuclear deterrence will permanently guarantee national safety
Updated: 2020-07-28 17:09:04 KST
North Korea will no longer need to fight wars because its nuclear arsenal will permanently guarantee national safety.
That's what North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said during a speech commemorating the 67th anniversary of the armistice agreement which effectively ended the Korean War.
The North's state mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency, reported Tuesday that Kim had touted the regime's so-called "reliable and effective self-defense war deterrence" and that it will protect against (quote)"any form of high pressure and military threats from imperialists and hostile forces."
He said that fierce struggles with enemies since the Korean War and pressure is why the regime has developed nuclear weapons which Kim now believes help North Korea defend itself.
Kim's comments come amid stalled talks between Pyeongyang and Washington and with the North also facing a deepening economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic and crippling global sanctions.
Watchers say this is an important reminder as to how difficult it will be to strike a deal that sees Pyongyang give up on a program it views to be key to its own survival.
"North Korea is sending a strong message that strengthened national defense power is necessary to end conflicts. Bringing this up at a time when the U.S. has its presidential election coming up, and both countries struggling with COVID-19, is to emphasize that there will be no denuclearization before the U.S. lifts its sanctions."
Nuclear diplomacy has remained largely at an impasse since the second Kim-Trump meeting in February 2019 in Vietnam. The summit ended without any agreement being reached as Trump rejected Kim's proposal of extensive sanctions relief in return for limited steps towards denuclearization.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.