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North Korea Declares Itself a Nuclear Weapons State

North Korean President Kim Jong Un
North Korea Declares Itself a Nuclear Weapons State Credit: The Presidential Press and Information Office/Wikimedia Commons

According to the official news agency KCNA, North Korea has approved a law declaring itself to be a nuclear weapons state.

Kim Jong-un, the country’s leader, described the choice as “irreversible” and rejected the idea of any denuclearization negotiations, the statement added.

The law also establishes North Korea’s right to defend itself with a nuclear first strike. Pyongyang carried out six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017 despite severe restrictions.

In defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, it has continued developing its military capacity, threatening its neighbors and perhaps even placing the US mainland within striking distance.

In 2019, Kim conducted nuclear tests using long-range rockets after two attention-grabbing but fruitless summits with former US President Donald Trump.

However, since then, negotiations between North Korea and the United States have come to a standstill. President Joe Biden has not yet confirmed whether he will meet with Kim, but the Biden administration has stated that it is willing to talk to Pyongyang.

In addition, the White House claimed that its outreach to Pyongyang regarding the COVID-19 outbreak has received no response.

North Korea on Complete Denuclearization

The objective of “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula was highlighted by the US when it reviewed its North Korea strategy last year. The Vice-President promised to pursue it using a combination of diplomacy and “stern deterrence.” In response, Kim stated that his nation needed to be ready for both “dialogue and confrontation.”

However, this year has seen a rise in tensions on the Korean Peninsula as a result of Pyongyang’s record-breaking missile launches.

With a barrage of missiles and the biggest joint military exercises on the peninsula in years, South Korea and the US have retaliated.

A new class of submarine-launched ballistic missile that North Korea dubbed “the world’s most powerful weapon” was unveiled in January 2021.

According to observers, the announcement of the new missiles was intended to be a signal to the Biden administration of the North’s expanding military might.

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