North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has enshrined the country’s status as a nuclear power in law and allowed the use of pre-emptive strikes, as the regime moves to shift policy between the US and Russia and China to rising tensions. wants to take advantage of.
State media reported Friday that Kim had vowed to enter talks on giving up his nuclear weapons after legislation was passed by the country’s highest public assembly the previous day.
Analysts said North Korea’s declared nuclear doctrine now allows pre-emptive strikes in a wide range of scenarios, including attacks on a country or government by conventional forces. The previous policy allowed the use of nuclear weapons only in the event of a second attack.
“There will be no announcement of our giving up nuclear weapons or nuclear disarmament, nor will there be any negotiations or negotiations to meet the terms of the other side,” Kim said on Thursday.
“As long as there are nuclear weapons on earth and imperialism persists… our path towards consolidating nuclear power will not stop,” he said.
North Korea’s illegal ballistic missile program has grown rapidly in scale and sophistication in recent years, despite widespread UN sanctions in the wake of nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches in 2017.
Sanctions on North Korea were agreed upon by all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which include the US, Russia and China.
But Pyongyang and Moscow have apparently become closer after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
US officials confirmed this week that Russia has purchased rockets and artillery shells from North Korea as Western sanctions begin to block arms supplies to Moscow. The Kim regime was also one of only four countries, apart from Russia, to oppose a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the military action this year.
Moscow and Beijing have been pushing for sanctions easing and vetoing new sanctions on Pyongyang for the first time in May.
A senior Western diplomat said the Kim regime had become more confident as tensions between the West and Russia and China increased.
“Pyongyang is clearly encouraged by the deterioration in relations between Russia and China and the United States,” he said. “The worse it gets, the stronger they feel.”
The analyst said the new nuclear policy is an attempt to strengthen the country’s status as a nuclear power.
“Kim Jong Un is trying to normalize North Korea’s nuclear weapons with domestic laws and declarations,” said Professor Leif-Eric Easley of Iwa Women’s University in Seoul.
“With so many self-inflicted economic challenges, it is a matter of regime legitimacy. It is also an attempt to project North Korea’s nuclear status to the world as a definite achievement.”