“Our country’s denuclearization forces are also ready to unleash their full power in a credible, precise and swift manner,” Kim Jong-un said in a speech in Pyongyang. He said in a speech to veterans of the Korean War (1950-1953) that the military was “perfectly prepared” for any military conflict with the United States.
In June, the United States and South Korea threatened further economic sanctions and reconsidered military presence in the event of another North Korean nuclear test. This week, the US military conducted target training in South Korea for the first time since 2019, including Apache attack helicopters.
The North Korean leader also criticized new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has been in power since May and has promised to be tough on the neighbor. “Talking about military action against our nation, which has the weapons they fear most, is absurd and a very dangerous act of self-destruction,” he said. According to him, such a “dangerous attempt will be immediately retaliated by the military and Yun Suk-yeol’s government and his army will be destroyed”.
According to Leif-Erik Eisley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, the North Korean leader’s rhetoric requires “external threats” to justify his rule, focusing on military spending in a struggling economy. “North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs violate international law, but Kim tries to portray his destabilization weapons development as a legitimate attempt at self-defense.”