North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promoted his country’s nuclear weapons, saying there will be no more war because the arsenal guarantees the security and future of the Hermit Kingdom amid military threats, according to reports.
The despot made the comments during a reception for veterans as he celebrated the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which fell on July 27, according to the Central Korean News Agency.
Pyongyang developed the weapons to gain “absolute strength” to prevent another armed conflict, he said, emphasizing the defensive nature of the rebel regime’s nuclear program, Reuters reported.
“We are now able to defend ourselves against any form of high-intensity pressure and military threats from the imperialist and hostile forces,” said Kim.
“Thanks to our reliable and effective self-defense nuclear deterrent, there will no longer be war, and the security and future of our country will be firmly guaranteed forever,” added Kim.
His speech followed recent comments from North Korean and US officials suggesting that they were reluctant to participate in a new round of diplomacy on Pyongyang’s nuclear program any time soon.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that President Trump would only want to engage with Kim if there were real prospects for progress.
Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong, a senior ruling party official, said a new summit would be “impractical” for North Korea and that Pyongyang will not grant Trump a high-level sit-down that he can brag about as a foreign policy achievement.
The two leaders have met three times since Kim in 2018 abruptly approached Washington and Seoul for conversation after voicing their plan to ditch their nuclear arsenal.
Many experts were skeptical about Kim’s commitment to disarmament, saying he was only trying to weaken the U.S.-led sanctions and shore up his nuclear program.
Nuclear diplomacy has remained virtually stagnant since a second summit in February 2019 collapsed without reaching an agreement because Trump rejected Kim’s proposal to obtain broad relief from sanctions in exchange for a limited denuclearization step.
This year, Kim promised to strengthen his nuclear program and threatened to present a new “strategic” weapon. He also said he would no longer be bound by a self-imposed moratorium on long-range and nuclear missile testing.