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Published: 10:13, July 28, 2022 | Updated: 14:11, July 28, 2022
Kim says DPRK ready to mobilize nuclear war deterrent
By Reuters
Published:10:13, July 28, 2022 Updated:14:11, July 28, 2022 By Reuters

In this photo provided by the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un delivers his speech during a ceremony to mark the 69th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, in Pyongyang, July 27, 2022. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY/KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)

SEOUL – The leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said his country is ready to mobilize its nuclear war deterrent and for any military clash with the United States, state media reported on Thursday.

Kim Jong-un made the remarks during a speech at an event to mark the 69th anniversary of the July 27 Korean War armistice, which left the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) technically still at war, according to the official KCNA news agency.

READ MORE: US-ROK-Japan deal shows US plan for 'Asian NATO', DPRK says

The duplex act of the United States, which is misleading all the routine actions of our armed forces as 'provocation' and 'threat' while holding large-scale joint military exercises that seriously threaten our security, is literally a robbery.

Kim Jong-un, Leader, DPRK

The confrontation with the US posed nuclear threats since the conflict required the DPRK to achieve an "urgent historical task" of beefing up its self-defense, Kim said.

"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," he said.

The speech came after Seoul and Washington officials said Pyongyang has completed preparations to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

ROK unification minister handling inter-Korean affairs said on Tuesday there was a "possibility" of the test in time for the anniversary, though a military official said there were no immediate signs for it.

The DPRK is likely to face stronger sanctions including measures aimed at curbing its cyberattack capabilities if it goes ahead with the test, the ROK’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

In the speech, Kim said Washington continues "dangerous, illegal hostile acts" with the ROK against the DPRK some 70 years after the war, and seeks to justify its behavior by "demonizing" the country.

Pyongyang has long accused Washington of double standards over military activities and pursuing a hostile policy towards the DPRK, saying it hampers a restart of talks aimed at dismantling the country's nuclear and missile programs in return for sanctions relief.

In this photo provided by the DPRK government, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, center front, shakes hands with war veterans during a ceremony to mark the 69th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, July 27, 2022. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY/KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)

"The duplex act of the United States, which is misleading all the routine actions of our armed forces as 'provocation' and 'threat' while holding large-scale joint military exercises that seriously threaten our security, is literally a robbery," Kim said.

ALSO READ: US, ROK threaten peace with military buildup, says DPRK leader

"That is driving bilateral relations to the point where it is difficult to turn back, into a state of conflict."

In this photo provided by DPRK government, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, center, and his wife Ri Sol-ju attend a ceremony to mark the 69th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, July 27, 2022. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY/KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)

Kim denounced the ROK’s Yoon Suk-yeol administration, saying any attempts to preemptively incapacitate the DPRK would be met with a stern response and "annihilation".

"I once again make it clear that North Korea is fully ready for any military confrontation with the United States," Kim said, referring to the DPRK as North Korea.

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