North Korea stressed Saturday that it will continue to bolster its nuclear arsenal in the year ahead.
North Korean state media celebrated the country’s nuclear and ballistic weapons achievements in the face of unprecedented pressure from the U.S. and the international community. “Do not expect any change in its policy,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) asserted in a new report titled “No Force Can Prevail over Independence and Justice.”
This past year, North Korea has successfully launched five previously-unseen ballistic missiles, including two new intercontinental ballistic missiles theoretically able to range the continental U.S. The rogue state also successfully tested a suspected thermonuclear weapon, a hydrogen bomb designed to level cities.
“The U.S. persistent moves against the DPRK in political, economic, military, diplomatic and all other fields till the end of this year could not stop even a moment the advance of the DPRK confident of the victory of its cause,” North Korean state media reported.
“Its entity as an invincible power can neither be undermined nor be stamped out,” the weekend KCNA report continued. “The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet.”
North Korean leadership warned that the country will “continue bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and preemptive attack with the nuclear force as the pivot.”
North Korea remains defiant in the face of international pressure.
“The more pressure is put on the DPRK, the more courageously it rises up,” a commentary in the Minju Choson explained Friday. “The DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power of Juche and a world-level military power. It is no longer a weak country which has to exist tamely, subject to the sanctions and pressure by the U.S.”
In response to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic provocations, the international community has placed tough sanctions on the rogue regime and taken steps to increase the country’s isolation, yet these efforts have not slowed North Korea’s development of powerful nuclear bombs or the means to deliver them to distant shores.
Following a test of a new ICBM suspected to be able to range all of the continental U.S. in late November, North Korea claimed to have completed the development of its state nuclear forces. While the North has made great strides this year, the country will still need to carry out additional weapons tests if it intends to field a reliable nuclear deterrent against the U.S. and its allies.
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