Nuclear deterrence a guarantee of national security, Kim says

Seoul, Jul 28 (efe-epa).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his regime’s nuclear deterrence guarantees national security, state media reported Tuesday.

Kim delivered a speech during the national conference of veterans of the Korean War (1950-1953) held in Pyongyang on Monday, the 67th anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which left the two countries technically at war, although the regime celebrates it as Victory Day.

“With our reliable and effective self-defense war deterrence, there will no more war on this land and our country’s safety and future will be secured forever,” Kim said in a speech, according to state newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

North Korea has become a country “able to reliably defend ourselves against any form of high-intensity pressure and military threats,” said Kim.

“War is an armed conflict that can only be played with opponents that can be overcome. Now no one can surpass us,” he added, and assured that if any country dares to underestimate Pyongyang, it will “pay the price dearly.”

It was the first time he has delivered a speech at the conference, and analysts say it was aimed at tightening unity amid the coronavirus pandemic and international sanctions, which are taking their toll on the country’s economy.

Both Rodong Sinmun and Korean Central News Agency also reported that a fireworks show was held on the banks of the Taedong River, which runs through Pyongyang, on the occasion of the Victory Day anniversary, which was attended by large crowds, as published photos show.

The North held the first conference of war veterans in 1993 on the 40th anniversary, and then in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018 after Kim took office.

Kim’s speech comes at a time when the denuclearization dialog with the US has been at a standstill since the failed Hanoi summit in 2019, when Washington refused to lift sanctions, deeming the North Korean disarmament offer insufficient.

In recent months Pyongyang has raised its rhetoric against the White House and Seoul in an apparent attempt to resume negotiations from which it could obtain a reduction in sanctions at a time of economic troubles caused by the pandemic. EFE-EPA


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