North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has threatened the United States with nuclear armageddon after Pyongyang resumed production of atomic bomb fuel in its top secret laboratory.
The director of North Korea’s Atomic Energy Institute said the country was ready to counter any US hostility with ‘nuclear weapons any time’.
He said scientists had ‘made innovations day by day’ to ‘guarantee the reliability of the nuclear deterrent… as required by the prevailing situation’.
He said: ‘In the meantime, the US anachronistic hostile policy toward the DPRK that forced it to have access to the nuclear weapons has remained utterly unchanged and instead it has become all the more undisguised and vicious with the adoption of means openly seeking the downfall of the latter’s social system.’
The chilling declaration comes comes a day after Pyongyang said it is ready to launch satellites aboard long-range rockets to mark a key national anniversary next month.
A National Aerospace Development Administration director said the North has been making ‘shining achievements; in the space development field ahead of the 70th birthday of the Workers’ Party, saying scientists and technicians are pushing forward on a final development phase for a new earth observation satellite for weather forecasts.
‘Space development for peaceful purposes is a sovereign state’s legitimate right … and the people of (North Korea) are fully determined to exercise this right no matter what others may say about it,’ the director told Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency. The world will ‘clearly see a series of satellites soaring into the sky at times and locations determined’ by the Workers’ Party.
The launches, if made, are certain to trigger an international standoff, with South Korea, Washington and other neighboring countries condemning past launches as disguised tests of the North’s long-range missile technology and Pyongyang making a furious response to the criticism.
North Korea has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range rocket. After several failures, it put its first satellite into space with a long-range rocket launched in late 2012. The UN said it was a banned test of ballistic missile technology and imposed sanctions. Experts say that ballistic missiles and rockets in satellite launches share similar bodies, engines and other technology.
An angry North Korea then conducted its third nuclear test in February 2013, inviting further international condemnation and sanctions.
Intelligence agencies believe that North Korea is working on measures to miniaturise it nuclear weapon so it could be mounted onto a rocket.
North Korea insists that its space programme is entirely peaceful as they only want to launch earth observation satellites.
However, these multi-stage rockets could be used as a nuclear weapon delivery system.
Washington sees North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as a threat to world security and to its Asian allies, Japan and South Korea.
The North’s announcement on Monday also raised doubt about recent signs of easing animosities between the rival Koreas, which have agreed to hold reunions next month of families separated by war. The two Koreas previously threatened each other with war in August in the wake of mine explosions blamed on Pyongyang that maimed two South Korean soldiers earlier in that month.
The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.
A Chinese government-backed think-tank is planning to host a forum on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Talks between China, the United States, Russia, South Korea, Japan and North Korea collapsed in 2008 when the Pyongyang regime refused to allow international observers inspect its nuclear facilities.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will address the gathering, the Foreign Ministry said in a short notice on its website, without saying who else will attend.
Ties between North Korea and its most important ally, China, have cooled since Kim Jong Un assumed power in Pyongyang and, in 2013, carried out a third nuclear test, in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
In 2005, North Korea reached an agreement with the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia to suspend its nuclear program in return for diplomatic rewards and energy assistance.
North Korea has called for the resumption of the talks, but the United States and South Korea have said Pyongyang must first show it is serious about ending its nuclear programme.
Source: The Daily Mail