North Korea ready to use nukes against the United States: Kim Jong Un
In the wake of indications North Korea may perform its first nuclear test since 2017, the nation's state media on Thursday reported that the leader Kim Jong Un has declared that his nation is prepared to mobilise its nuclear war deterrent and for any military conflict with the United States. According to the official KCNA news agency, Kim made the comments during a speech at a celebration to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on July 27. As per a Reuters report, Kim said, the confrontation with the US presented a nuclear danger because it forced the North to complete an "urgent historical task" of bolstering its self-defence.
"Our armed forces are thoroughly prepared to respond to any crisis, and our nation's nuclear war deterrence is also fully ready to mobilise its absolute strength faithfully, accurately and promptly to its mission," he said.
The declaration that Pyongyang has finished making preparations to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 was already made by South Korean and American officials prior to Jong Un's address.
In the address, Kim said that 70 years after the war, Washington still engages in "dangerous, illegal hostile acts" with South Korea against the North and tries to "demonise" the nation to support its actions.
"I once again make it clear that North Korea is fully ready for any military confrontation with the United States," Kim said.
The North has long accused the United States of double standards in military activities and of having a hostile foreign policy toward Pyongyang. They claim that this undermines efforts to restart negotiations designed to curtail the nation's nuclear and missile programmes in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
"The duplex act of the United States, which is misleading all the routine actions of our armed forces as 'provocation' and 'threat' while holding large-scale joint military exercises that seriously threaten our security, is literally a robbery," Kim said.
"That is driving bilateral relations to the point where it is difficult to turn back, into a state of conflict."
If the test is conducted, North Korea is likely to face further penalties, including steps to limit its ability to conduct cyberattacks, the foreign minister of South Korea warned on Wednesday.