North Korean missile test
U.S., South Korea Hold Joint Naval Drills As North Korea Plans Nuclear Test Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday warned the West that his nuclear arsenal is ready for use at any time for any looming military conflicts with neighboring South Korea, the United States and other western allies. In his speech during the 69th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, Kim addressed war veterans at the same time fiercely pounding on how western rivals and South Korea are pushing the Korean peninsula to war. The country’s state-run media said the tyrant leader has long been prepared to use his nuclear weapons if threatened by rivals as he accused the U.S. of “demonizing” North Korea for its nuclear weapons program.

According to Reuters, Kim’s nuclear war deterrent plans are only meant to counter any U.S. provocations. He heavily criticized South Korea’s newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol for threatening North Korea’s security and its right to self-defense. "Our armed forces are thoroughly prepared to respond to any crisis, and our nation's nuclear war deterrence is also fully ready to mobilize its absolute strength faithfully, accurately and promptly to its mission," Kim said.

He added that the ongoing conflict with the U.S. has long been a nuclear threat to the North since the 1950s war which pushed North Korea to beef up its self-defense. His firm rhetoric follows recent reports from Washington and Seoul pointing fingers at Pyongyang that it has completed preparations to conduct its first nuclear test. The South Korean unification minister handling affairs between the North and South said that there is a possibility of a nuclear test around the time of the anniversary of the armistice.

Political analyst and professor at Ewha University in Seoul, Leif-Eric Easley said Kim’s speech could be an attempt to boost national pride and bolster internal unity in the impoverished North as South Korea successfully brandishes a successful post-armistice development. Stricken with Covid pandemic economic struggles along with western sanctions, Kim refuses to back down and instead has threatened the South saying any such attempts to incapacitate the North would be met with a harsh response and “annihilation”.

In reaction to this, the defense ministry in Seoul reiterated that it would maintain reinforcing its military capabilities to secure its defenses while the U.S. extends its nuclear umbrella to deter and respond to any hostile threats from Pyongyang.

File image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during a military parade
People watch a television broadcast showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during a military parade at the Seoul Railway Station on May 04, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. An unidentified projectile was fired by North Korea towards the East Sea according to reports from South Korea's military. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

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