North Korea threatens nuclear escalation
Islam News – Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, vowed to expand his country’s nuclear arsenal “exponentially,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said on Sunday.
Kim, who spoke at a five-day meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party, framed the escalation as a response to a harder line on the North by Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korea’s new conservative president.
North Korea will “respond with nuke for nuke, and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation, in order to deal with the enemy’s rash acts and reckless moves,” Kim said on Saturday.
Background: North Korea launched more than 90 missiles in 2022, its highest annual total to date, and broke its self-imposed moratorium on ICBM tests. It tested yet another missile early on New Year’s Day.
Context: North Korea’s economy has been ravaged by the pandemic and sanctions, Kim has warned of food shortages caused by flooding and the value of the North Korean currency has plummeted against the dollar. Analysts say Kim seems to see his nuclear arsenal as the most effective means of elevating his leadership credentials among his people.
Source: The New York Times