North Korea's Kim Determined To Build More Nukes
Commentators say Kim Jong Un may be contemplating the “nuclear first use” doctrine.
North Korean leader has pledged to speed up development of his country’s nuclear arsenal while overseeing a huge military parade that displayed intercontinental ballistic missiles, state media reported on Tuesday.
The parade took place on Monday night during celebrations for the 90th anniversary of North Korea’s armed forces, the state news agency KCNA said.
Pyongyang has recently stepped up weapons tests and displays of military power as denuclearisation talks with the United States have stalled and a new conservative administration takes power in South Korea.
U.S. and South Korean officials say there are signs of new construction at North Korea’s only known nuclear test site, which has been officially closed since 2018, suggesting Pyongyang may be preparing to resume testing nuclear weapons.
The nuclear forces of our Republic should be fully prepared to fulfil their responsible mission and put their unique deterrent in motion at any time, Mr. Kim told the gathering, according to KCNA.
He said the fundamental mission of the North’s nuclear force was deterrence, but that its use “can never be confined to the single mission.
If any forces try to violate the fundamental interests of our state, our nuclear forces will have to decisively accomplish an unexpected second mission, Mr. Kim said.
Hong Min, a senior fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said Kim’s speech could signal a change in his nuclear doctrine to leave open the possibility of “nuclear first use”.
Though he did not specify what makes the ‘second mission’ or ‘fundamental interests’, he indicated more broadly that the nuclear force might be used pre-emptively, not only when they’re under attack, but also under certain circumstances, Mr. Hong said.