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Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un boasts of ‘death-defying struggle’ to build nuclear arsenal as he prepares for showdown against US

Kim told workers behind the latest test that his country would ‘victoriously advance and leap as the strongest nuclear power and military power in the world’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 2:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 2:18pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” against the US with his rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, state media said on Wednesday, after the country’s latest missile test heightened global tensions.

The nuclear-armed North has rattled the international community with a flurry of nuclear blasts and missile launches, most recently on November 29 when it test-fired its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of reaching all major US cities.

Kim told workers behind the latest test that his country would “victoriously advance and leap as the strongest nuclear power and military power in the world” at a conference on Tuesday, according to state news agency KCNA.

The … national defence industry will continue to develop and we will win victory in the showdown
Kim Jong-un

“The … national defence industry will continue to develop and we will win victory in the showdown with the imperialists and the US,” he was indirectly quoted as saying.

The country’s nuclear force had been completed in a “death-defying struggle” and despite a high cost, he added.

Kim’s comments come as global powers scramble for a response to the crisis, with the US backing stringent economic and diplomatic sanctions on Kim’s regime to halt its nuclear drive.

But the North has continued to lob missiles, posing a major challenge to US President Donald Trump.

Fears of a catastrophic conflict with the nuclear-armed regime have spiked as the leaders have taunted each other, with Trump dubbing his rival “Little Rocket Man”.

Tension flared anew in the flashpoint peninsula after the November 29 launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM, which the North claimed could deliver a “super-large heavy warhead” anywhere on the US mainland.

Many analysts suggest that the rocket is capable of reaching the US mainland but voice scepticism that Pyongyang has mastered the advanced technology needed to allow the rocket to survive re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.

Last month’s launch was the first test of any kind since September 15, and quashed hopes that the North may have held back in order to open the door to a negotiated solution to the nuclear stand-off.