Kim Jong Un
In Photos: Kim Jong Un Oversees As North Korea Test Fires New ICBM Photo by: AFP/Jung Yeon-je

Kim Jong Un has ordered the expansion of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal following the country’s 37th weapons launch for 2022 last week. The North Korean leader also announced the development of a more powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.

The country’s state media, KCNA, reported that Kim’s newest decisions are in line with his intent to further broaden the direction of his nuclear program to cope with his perception of U.S. hostility towards North Korea’s resistance to denuclearization, Associated Press reported.

In a recent meeting with his key ruling party, Kim was quoted, “The prevailing situation calls for making redoubled efforts to overwhelmingly beef up the military muscle.”

The meeting, which carried on for a total of six days, expounded on the state’s new policies and objectives, as Kim also called for the mass production of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons aimed at a range to hit South Korea. A new development plan for his ICBMs was laid out as well, this time equipped with a quick nuclear counterstrike capability towards the U.S. mainland. North Korea’s first military reconnaissance satellite is also scheduled to launch at the earliest possible date. Experts say the supreme leader’s push for an “exponential” expansion of his nuclear arsenal signals clear intentions of running more weapons tests and pushing toward solidifying his global powers of negotiation.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry responded to North Korea’s latest moves and urged Pyongyang to immediately cease developing nuclear weapons. It also warned that the supreme leader’s regime will come to an end if Pyongyang attempts to use its nuclear weapons. In a bid to counter impending threats from North Korea, South Korea has posed its military to strengthen its hold with the “three-axis” defense system designed to counter Pyongyang’s nuclear offensives. Included in the design of the three-axis defense system are the Kill Chain preemptive strike, the Korea Air and Missile Defense system and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation Plan.

Meanwhile, U.S. Forces Korea said Washington has already designated assets to be deployed along with a new unit placed in command tasked to coordinate space operations and services such as missile warning, position navigation, as well as timing and satellite communications within the Korean region.

Television screen shows a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test
People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on February 27, 2022, after North Korea fired an "unidentified projectile" according to the South's military. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

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