North Korea an ‘irreversible’ nuclear power, says Kim Jong-un
by Josh Smith
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has passed a law allowing it to conduct pre-emptive nuclear strikes to protect itself, a move its leader Kim Jong-un says will give the country “irreversible” nuclear power status and preventing any denuclearization negotiations, the official press reported on Friday.
The announcement comes as South Korean and US officials and observers believe Pyongyang is preparing to conduct a nuclear test for the first time since 2017 after diplomatic efforts have since failed.
Neither former US President Donald Trump, who held two historic summits with Kim Jong-un, nor other world leaders have managed to convince North Korea’s number one to abandon its ballistic and nuclear programs.
North Korea’s parliament passed the law on Thursday, official KCNA news agency reported.
“The most important meaning of enshrining nuclear weapons policy in law is to draw an irreversible line so that there can be no negotiations on our nuclear weapons,” Kim Jong-un said in a speech to parliamentarians.
While North Korea had already declared itself a nuclear power in its constitution, the new law goes further and lists the cases in which the country can use nuclear weapons – particularly in response to an attack or to stop an invasion.
According to this, Pyongyang can also carry out preventive nuclear strikes if an impending attack with weapons of mass destruction or against “strategic targets” of the country is determined.
The law also prohibits sharing nuclear technology and weapons with other countries, the KCNA said.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has offered diplomatic talks to North Korea anytime, anywhere, while South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said his country will provide massive economic aid to Pyongyang if it gives up its arsenal.
However, North Korea rejected these approaches and condemned the “hostile policies” still in force on the part of the United States and its allies, such as the sanctions against Pyongyang and the military maneuvers organized in the region.
North Korea will never give up nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un said, adding peace is only possible with sufficient deterrence in the face of “imperialist arrogance”.
(Reporting by Josh Smith; French version by Jean Terzian)
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