Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, has continued his saber-rattling by making threats against South Korea and the United States. He instructed the North Korean military on Monday to “thoroughly destroy” both countries that provoked his regime.
The rhetoric of the state-owned media is part of an ongoing war of words that has been waged between both countries.
State media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had said his military would “thoroughly destroy” the United States and South Korea if provoked. He also pledged to increase national defense in response to what he described as an unprecedented U.S.-led confrontation.
North Korea’s warlike rhetoric has increased in recent months as a result of an increase in U.S. and South Korean military exercises. Experts predict that Kim will continue to increase his rhetoric and weapons testing because he believes he can use increased tensions to gain concessions from the U.S. if Donald Trump is elected president in November.
In a major five-day ruling party meeting held last week, Kim announced that he would launch three additional military spy satellites this year, as well as produce more nuclear material and develop attack drones. This, observers believe, is an effort to increase Kim’s leverage in future diplomatic negotiations with the U.S.
Kim, in a Sunday meeting with officers of the army, said that it was urgent to sharpen his “precious sword” for national security. This is an apparent reference to the nuclear weapons program of his country. According to the Korean Central News Agency, he cited “the U.S. military and other hostile forces’ confrontation moves.”
Kim’s comments on Thursday when he called for the expansion of war preparations were similar.
State media reported on Thursday that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un had ordered the military, munitions sector, and nuclear weapons industry to speed up war preparations to counter what Kim called U.S. actions of unprecedented aggression.
Kim, who spoke on Wednesday about the country’s policy direction for the coming year, also stated that Pyongyang will expand its strategic cooperation with countries “anti-imperialist and independent”, according to KCNA, a news agency.
North Korea is expanding its ties with Russia and other countries. Washington accuses Pyongyang that it supplied military equipment to Moscow to be used in the war against Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russia offers technical assistance to help North Korea advance its military capabilities.
First, the question is: can North Korea follow through on Kim’s instructions? The regime is steadily increasing its arsenal of nuclear weapons. It is estimated that the regime has anywhere from 20 to 100 bombs. The question is whether the regime can reach the United States using these warheads. North Korea may have improved its capabilities, even though this was not the case before.
The report by Theodore A. Postol – professor emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – states that the Hwasong-18’s dimensions and flight trajectory data are “nearly identical”. The report was written for Beyond Parallel – a project sponsored and managed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
According to North Korea, the new missile is a significant and sudden advance in North Korea’s arsenal of ballistic missiles. This was confirmed by U.S. government officials. It is harder to detect by Western intelligence than liquid-fueled ICBMs because the rocket uses solid fuel. Kim Jong Un was present at the test, which took place last month. It was the first time a solid-fueled ICBM had been successfully launched. The report also said that the test demonstrated the Hwasong-18’s capability to deliver multiple thermonuclear weapons as far as Washington and to deploy decoy countermeasures to evade U.S. ICBM defenses.
If the report is true, North Korea could be getting closer to the ability to attack the United States. This does not mean that such an action would be successful. Nor is it likely Kim would want this outcome given the retaliation. This suggests that Kim is using this to leverage concessions from other countries and the U.S.
North Korea’s warlike rhetoric has intensified in recent months as a result of an increase in U.S. and South Korean military exercises. Experts predict that Kim will continue to increase his rhetoric and weapons testing because he believes he can use increased tensions to gain concessions from the U.S. if Donald Trump is elected president in November.
It is not surprising, given Trump’s meetings with Kim while he was president, that Kim would want to have more leverage if Trump were to become president again. A second Trump presidency could make Kim less likely to rattle his saber, given Trump’s unpredictable nature and willingness to threaten with “Fire and Fury.”
No matter who wins in the 2024 elections, the international community faces a complex problem with North Korea. North Korea has a history of aggressive rhetoric and tests of missiles. The world is waiting to see the next move as the election approaches.