Kim Jong-un says North Korea’s nuclear weapons will prevent future wars
- He made the comments during a meeting with war veterans marking the 67th anniversary of the end of the Korean war
- The remarks again shows he has no intention of abandoning his weapons as prospects dim for resuming diplomacy with the US
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un said nuclear weapons were a solid security guarantee of the country’s survival and a “reliable, effective” deterrent that could prevent another war.
He made the comments during a Monday meeting with war veterans marking the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean war.
Kim said in his speech on Monday his country had tried to become “a nuclear state” with “an absolute might” to prevent another war and that it has now built such a deterrent, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
“Now, we’ve changed to a country which can defend itself reliably and unwaveringly against high-intensity pressures and military threats and blackmailing by imperialistic reactionaries and hostile forces,” Kim said.
“There won’t be any war on this land again and our national security and future will be guaranteed firmly and permanently because of our reliable, effective self-defensive nuclear deterrent,” Kim said.
Kim’s speech followed recent remarks by both North Korean and US officials suggesting they were reluctant to engage in a new round of diplomacy on the North’s nuclear programme anytime soon.
North Korea puts border city under lockdown after nation’s ‘first’ suspected Covid-19 case
Kim’s sister and senior ruling party official, Kim Yo-jong, said a new summit would be “unpractical” for North Korea and that Pyongyang would not gift Trump a high-level meeting that he could boast about as a foreign policy achievement.
Kim Jong-un and Trump met three times since Kim in 2018 abruptly reached out to Washington and Seoul for talks after expressing his intent to deal away his advancing nuclear arsenals. Many experts were sceptical of Kim’s disarmament commitment and said he only aimed to weaken US-led sanctions and perfect his nuclear programme.
The nuclear diplomacy remains largely stalled since a second Kim-Trump meeting in February 2019 in Vietnam collapsed without reaching any agreement because Trump rejected Kim’s proposal to get extensive sanctions relief in return for a limited denuclearisation step.
Kim on Friday ordered the total lockdown of the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea because a person there had suspected coronavirus symptoms. North Korea has so far insisted there has been no virus patient on its territory, a claim questioned by outside experts.
KCNA reported on Tuesday authorities were swiftly supplying masks, medicines, test equipment, food and other necessities to Kaesong. It said authorities had boosted their border closures.
Experts say a pandemic in North Korea could cause devastating consequences because of its broken health care system and lack of medical supplies.