On the occasion of a military parade in Pyongyang (North Korea), Monday, April 25, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced his intention to “strengthen and develop” the nuclear armament of his country.
“We will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our nation’s nuclear capabilities at an accelerated pace,” said Kim Jong-un, whose remarks were reported by the North Korean news agency KCNA.
The parade was held as part of the 90th anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.
Dressed in a white military uniform, the North Korean leader witnessed a parade of tanks, rocket launchers and large intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The North Korean leader warned on Monday that he could use his nuclear arsenal if the “fundamental interests” of North Korea were threatened. In his speech, he affirmed that if this type of weapon has, above all, a deterrent role, they “cannot be linked to a single mission”.
Lyrics for South Korea?
US and South Korean officials and analysts believe Pyongyang could soon resume nuclear weapons testing, halted since 2017.
The North Korean leader’s remarks on nuclear weapons could be aimed at South Korea’s new president-elect, conservative Yoon Suk-yeol, who takes office on May 10, analysts say. He promised to take a tougher line in the face of provocations from the North.
Photos from the parade show huge black and white missiles posed on mobile launchers, while North Koreans in traditional dress wave flags and flowers.
According to KCNA, during this parade, the most sophisticated weapons, including the Hwasong-17, were exhibited.