Is North Korea gearing up for a nuclear test?

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The United States said it is aware of reports that North Korea is ready to conduct a nuclear test and deems it a violation of international law, reports Asian Lite News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed the need to bolster the country’s military power to “pre-emptively and thoroughly contain” nuclear threats from hostile forces, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Saturday.

He met top military commanders who organised a massive street parade in Pyongyang earlier this week, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report.

Kim was quoted as calling on his military commanders to maintain the “absolute superiority” of the armed forces and constantly develop in order to “pre-emptively and thoroughly contain and frustrate all dangerous attempts and threatening moves, including ever-escalating nuclear threats from hostile forces, if necessary”, Yonhap News Agency cited the KCNA report as saying.

He emphasised that the “tremendous offensive power and the overwhelming military muscle” that can’t be beaten is the “lifeline” for security guarantee in the current world where a force clashes with another fiercely and strength is needed to preserve “dignity, rights and interests”, the report added.

Kim also called on the military leaders to “boldly open up a new stage of development” of the armed forces during the meeting held at the office building of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee in Pyongyang.

The KCNA did not specify the date of the event.

The parade was held in the North’s capital Monday to celebrate the 90th founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA), during which strategic weapons including the Hwangsong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile and a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) were showcased.

North Korean soldiers unfold a North Korean flag during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Sept. 9, 2021, to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the country’s founding, in this photo released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.(Yonhap/IANS)

At the parade, Kim vowed to further strengthen his regime’s nuclear capabilities and warned any forces that seek to violate the “fundamental interests” of the North will be met with the country’s nuclear forces.

US warns Pyongyang

The United States is aware of reports that North Korea is ready to conduct a nuclear test and deems it a violation of international law, State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said on Friday.

“We are aware of reports that the DPRK [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is ready to conduct a nuclear test, it is a violation of the international law. We urge the DPRK to refrain from destabilizing activities,” she said.

Over 10 years in power, the North Korean leader has conducted more than 100 missile launches, including intercontinental launches, and four nuclear tests. During his 10-year tenure, his farther Kim Jong Il carried out 16 missile launches and two nuclear tests.

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