North Korea’s Kim rips US, promises ‘invincible’ military
The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim criticized “persistent U.S. hostility” in the Asia-Pacific region and called the U.S. a “source of instability” on the Korean Peninsula.
“The U.S. has frequently signaled it’s not hostile to our state, but there is no action-based evidence to make us believe that they are not hostile,” Kim said, according to The Associated Press. “The U.S. is continuing to create tensions in the region with its wrong judgments and actions.”
Additionally, Kim said that North Korea’s main enemy is “war itself” and Pyongyang was only increasing its military in self-defense and not to start a war, Reuters reported.
“We are not discussing war with anyone, but rather to prevent war itself and to literally increase war deterrence for the protection of national sovereignty,” he said.
Kim also attacked South Korea in his speech and accused it of hypocrisy for criticizing North Korea’s weapons development program while allocating large amounts to increase its own military capabilities.
“I say once again that South Korea isn’t the one that our military forces have to fight against. Surely, we aren’t strengthening our defense capability because of South Korea. We shouldn’t repeat a horrible history of compatriots using force against each other,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
The speech from the North Korean leader comes as the Biden administration has suggested it is open to a dialogue with North Korea if that country is willing to take more concrete steps to slow down its nuclear weapons program.
Kim has called the offer a “cunning” attempt to conceal U.S. hostility against North Korea and said that diplomacy will not be possible unless the U.S. removes its sanctions over the country’s nuclear development. North Korea also wants a halt to the U.S. military’s regular exercises with South Korea.
South Korea’s national security adviser, Suh Hoon, who is visiting the U.S., is expected to sit down with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan to discuss North Korean issues on Tuesday, South Korean media has reported.
The North Korean leader’s remarks came at a military parade commemorating the 76th birthday of the ruling Worker’s Party. Among the weapons on display were the country’s arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).