North Korea says it is ‘fully prepared’ for military conflict with US

Seoul, Jul 28 (EFE).- North Korea warned that it is “fully prepared” for any military confrontation with the United States and threatened neighboring South Korea with “annihilation” in the face of any attempt to overthrow the regime led by Kim Jong-un.

“Our armed forces are thoroughly prepared to respond to any crisis, and our nation’s nuclear war deterrence is also fully prepared to mobilize its absolute strength faithfully, accurately and swiftly to its mission,” Kim said in a speech on Wednesday night marking the 69th anniversary of Victory Day.

This national holiday is celebrated in the country on July 27 and commemorates the end of the Korean War (1950-53), which left the North and South divided.

The war ended in an armistice so it has technically not ended.

“The double standard of the US, which misleadingly labels all our daily actions as provocations and threats while holding large-scale joint exercises that seriously threaten our national security, is literally thug-like behavior that pushes North Korea-US relations to conflict and to a point that is irreversible,” Kim said, according to a transcript of the speech released by state agency KCNA on Thursday.

The state-run Rodong newspaper on Thursday published a series of photos of Kim giving the address in his first public appearance in 19 days, and greeting the country’s military hosts accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol-ju.

The anniversary was commemorated with fireworks and several events throughout the day, including a mass gathering of war veterans and other civilian activities.

The North Korean leader also criticized South Korea and its president, Yoon Suk-yeol, who since his arrival in office on May 10, has adopted a tougher stance against the neighboring country and its recent weapons tests.

Pyongyang said any “dangerous attempt” by Seoul at a preemptive strike “would be punished immediately by powerful forces, and the Yoon Seok-yeol administration and his military would be wiped out” while accusing the country of supporting the US’ “hostile policy” towards it. EFE


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