North Korean leader Kim Jong-un posed in front of a Hwasong-16, North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile, as he gave his latest warning to Joe Biden
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showed off his country’s latest nuclear missiles as he accused the US and South Korea of creating tensions.
One such missile at the exhibition was a Hwasong-16, North Korea’s largest ICBM first unveiled at a military parade last year.
Analysts have described the “monster” missile as one of the largest road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in the world if it becomes operational.
In a speech carried by state news, Kim said he was only increasing his military strength as an act of self-defence.
He claimed that Pyongyang’s weapons development was necessary in the face of hostile policies from the US and a military buildup in South Korea, according to a report by state news agency KCNA.
His comments during a speech at the Defence Development Exhibition came as he stood surrounded by intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and giant portraits of himself in military uniform, Reuters reports.
The DPRK leader said: ”We are not discussing war with anyone, but rather to prevent war itself and to literally increase war deterrence for the protection of national sovereignty.”
He added that the US is “creating regional tension with wrong decisions and action” and that he did not trust Washington’s claim that it has no hostile intent towards him, NK news reports.
US military activities such as joint exercises with South Korea are “bringing about many prospective dangers” and “raising the urgency to further strengthen ourselves”, he continued.
He also promised to carry out military development plans including new solid-fuelled ICBMs, a new nuclear missile capable submarine and a military reconnaissance satellite – but claimed these were all in the name of self-defence.
Describing South Korea’s attitude as “dualistic, illogical and gangster-like”, he went on to reject warn that he would “respond with strong action and not condone” the South’s intent to “harm” North Korea’s right to self-defence.
His comments came amid increasingly heated tensions between North and South Korea, less than a month after both sides test-fired ballistic missiles in the latest volley of the arms race.
South Korea recently tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile, alongside plans to build major new weapons include aircraft carriers and the purchase of American-made F-35 stealth fighters.
North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations claimed it has the right to self defence and to test weapons given the “hostile policy’ by the US, after South Korea’s military said North Korea had fired an unidentified projectile towards the sea off its east coast.
In an address to the annual United Nations General Assembly, Kim Song said: “Nobody can deny the righteous right to self-defense for the DPRK to develop, test, manufacture, and possess the weapon systems, equivalent to the ones which are possessed or being developed by them.”
The US has said it would be willing to hold diplomatic talks at any time with North Korea.
On Tuesday, South Korea’s national security advisor, Suh Hoon, is expected to meet with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan to discuss the subject of North Korea.
Speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday, Mr Suh said he planned to discuss President Moon Jae-in’s proposal for a formal declaration ending the 1950-1953 Korean War and for possible easing of sanctions on North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.