North Korea blames US, hints for nuclear resumption, ICBM test

Seoul, South Korea-Condemning the hostility and threat of the United States, North Korea said Thursday that it would consider resuming “all temporarily suspended activities” that had been suspended during diplomacy with the Trump administration. Explosives and long-range missiles.

North Korea’s official South Korean central news agency has a policy goal for Prime Minister Kim Jong Un to preside over the Labor Party’s Politburo meeting and for authorities to “immediately strengthen” military power to counter American “hostile movements.” Said that it was set.

Authorities have instructed “to rethink the confidence-building measures we have taken on an overall scale and promptly consider the issue of resuming all temporarily suspended activities,” KCNA said. Stated.

According to experts, Kim is resurrecting an old playbook of brinkmanship as he works on a dysfunctional economy due to pandemics, mismanagement, and sanctions on US-led nuclear ambitions. We are drawing concessions from Washington and neighboring countries.

North Korea has recently stepped up weapons demonstrations, including four rounds of missile launches this month, as a clear effort to put pressure on Washington over a long-term freeze on nuclear diplomacy.

North Korea’s foreign ministry had already warned last week that it would take stronger action after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on ongoing missile tests. The UN Security Council has scheduled a private meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue of non-proliferation with North Korea.

South Korea said the military is closely monitoring North Korea as it urged its rivals to return to the dialogue.

The administration of China, a major ally of North Korea, has repeatedly accused US sanctions through a briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday. The Chinese Communist Party government has avoided criticizing North Korea for its recent missile launches and has supported its return to Beijing-sponsored multinational disarmament negotiations, which have been stagnant since 2008.

Kim decided to unilaterally suspend testing of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2018 as he began talks with then-President Donald Trump in an attempt to harness nuclear weapons for the terribly necessary economic gain. Announced.

Their summit showed Kim’s pursuit of a weapon that could target America’s hometown, following a provocative run in North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests in 2017. He also exchanged the threat of nuclear extinction with Trump.

But negotiations have been stalled since the second summit in 2019, when the United States rejected North Korea’s request for relief of major sanctions in exchange for a partial abandonment of its nuclear capabilities.

At the end of the year, Kim returned to the familiar threat, saying that North Korea is no longer obliged to maintain a suspension of nuclear and ICBM testing.

However, the pandemic hampered many of Kim’s economic goals as North Korea imposed a blockade and stopped most of its trade with China.

North Korea seems to have resumed rail freight transport with China, which had been stagnant for two years, this month.

The sixth and final test of the nuclear explosive device was conducted in September 2017. The last launch of the ICBM was in November of that year.

Some experts say North Korea can dramatically raise its ante with a weapons demonstration after the end of the February Winter Olympics in Beijing. They said that North Korean leaders offered unlimited talks but did not show willingness to ease sanctions unless Kim took actual steps to abandon the nuclear and missile program. He says he is likely to feel that he can use dramatic provocation to move the needle.

U.S. hostility has reached a “danger line” that can no longer be overlooked, and members of the North Korean Politburo said “more reliable and effective in protecting dignity, sovereignty, and national interests. He called for practical steps to increase it, “KCNA said.

They criticize the United States for continuing military exercises with South Korea and arming its allies with advanced weapons, and Washington continues to send strategic assets to the region to put pressure on North Korea. Insisted.

Since 2018, the United States has dramatically reduced its joint exercises with South Korea, but this is largely limited to computer simulations, leaving room for diplomacy with North Korea and concerns about COVID-19.

Kim Do-Joon, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, said North Korea’s allegations of US hostility were an excuse for continued testing.

“Pyongyang has a head-on focus on achieving nuclear weapons milestones, as it is militaryly essential. This means more testing will be done in the future. I will, “she said. “The pandemic has spent enough time on North Korea to continue developing nuclear weapons as North Korea closed its borders and refused direct negotiations for fear of importing the virus.”

Kim Jong Un recently exhibited several new weapons he might want to test, including what appears to be North Korea’s largest ICBM unfolded during the October 2020 military parade.

He also made an ambitious list of sophisticated weapons early last year, with a five-year plan to develop military forces including supersonic missiles, solid fuel ICBMs, spy satellites, and submarine-launched nuclear missiles. Issued.

If North Korea conducts another nuclear test, it may claim that it has acquired the ability to make a warhead small enough to fit in a hypersonic missile allegedly tested twice so far this year. Experts say.

Last week, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on five North Koreans for their role in obtaining equipment and technology for the country’s missile program.

The State Department has ordered sanctions on another North Korean, Russian man, and Russian company for its widespread support for North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction. The Biden administration also said it would pursue additional UN sanctions on North Korea’s tests.

Associated Press


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