Tuesday, September 27, 2022

North Korea hints at new nuclear, ICBM tests

North Korea is indicating it will resume long-range missile and nuclear tests in response to a “sharp hostile move” by the United States.

Any such test would significantly increase US-North Korea tensions, which have already escalated due to Pyongyang’s six ballistic missile tests to kick off the new year.

At a Politburo meeting on Wednesday attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, officials said they would “reconsider all confidence-building measures previously and voluntarily taken by our state and temporarily suspend all actions.” Will expeditiously examine the issue of re-introduction.” To the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

This is a clear reference to Kim’s 2018 announcement that he would voluntarily suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

North Korea has not conducted nuclear or ICBM tests since 2017, during the height of tensions between Kim and former US President Donald Trump. After Kim-Trump talks broke down later in 2019, North Korea resumed launching short-range ballistic missiles.

Already this year, North Korea has conducted two tests of what it describes as a hypersonic missile, launched a pair of ballistic missiles from a train, and fired a pair of strategic guided missiles from an air base in Pyongyang.

North Korea was particularly outraged when the US this month unilaterally imposed sanctions against five North Koreans linked to Pyongyang’s weapons program.

In an official Politburo readout released Thursday, North Korean officials blasted a “recent indiscreet move” by the United States, accusing it of attempting to “undermine our rights to self-defense.” It also complained about the recent US-South Korea joint military exercise.

“The meeting reaffirmed defense policy actions to strengthen and develop more powerful physical means without delay in order to definitively bolster the daily intense hostile moves of the United States,” KCNA said.

It is not clear whether an ICBM or nuclear test is imminent. In late 2019, Kim also said that he “no longer feels obliged” by his postponement. Since then he has failed to comply with that threat.

Many analysts say the latest threat may be more urgent, as North Korea is working through a checklist of weapons development that Kim put out in a speech nearly a year ago. That list includes not only weapons that were recently tested, including the North’s self-proclaimed hypersonic missiles, but also technology that could be tested in the future, including ICBMs Those that are powered by solid fuel or that can carry multiple warheads.

North Korea is banned from any ballistic missile activity, including any range launch, by a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

North Korea’s political calendar could also be a factor. In the coming months, the country plans to hold major celebrations for the birthdays of deceased leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

“This is a milestone year for the Kim family, and Kim Jong is on a mission to unveil new weapons during the big celebrations we expect in 2022,” said Jean Lee, a senior fellow at the Wilson Center for Research in Washington. can do.” Organization.

According to a readout released by KCNA, the Politburo meeting discussed the need to “glorify” the birthdays of the two leaders, which are major holidays in North Korea.

Lee said, “Reading between the lines, I think we can assume that Kim Jong Un has asked the Politburo to refrain from testing nuclear bombs and long-range ballistic missiles under President Donald Trump.” You can cancel your promise.”

“They have a short time frame to complete these new weapons and are trying to escalate tensions with North Korea’s arch enemy, the United States, to create the impression that the Korean Peninsula is on the verge of war,” he said. ” “Stress helps to justify further testing.”

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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