North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for increased production of “military nuclear material” and to manufacture more powerful weapons, state media reported Tuesday (March 28th). This latest threat from Mr. Kim, which echoes an earlier promise to raise “exponential way” the production of nuclear weapons, comes as a US Navy aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea on Tuesday.
After speaking with officials from the country’s nuclear weapons institute, the leader says North Korea must prepare to use its nuclear weapons “anywhere and anytime”according to’KCNA official agency.
He also called on officials to “develop the production of military nuclear material in the long term in order to implement in depth the plan (…) for the exponential increase in nuclear arsenals”. The North Korean leader also “encouraged the further production of powerful nuclear weapons”KCNA added.
When the country has prepared ” Perfectly “ its nuclear weapons systems, “the enemy will fear us and dare not challenge the sovereignty of our state, our system and our people”said Mr. Kim, according to the same source.
Photos published by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper show the leader, surrounded by uniformed officers, inspecting a row of what appear to be tactical nuclear warheads, identified as “Hwasan-31” (volcano in Korean). According to charts and diagrams posted on the walls, these warheads could be mounted on different types of missiles.
Self-proclaimed “irreversible” nuclear power
Last year, North Korea declared itself a nuclear power. “irreversible” and Mr. Kim recently called for an increase “exponential” of the production of weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons. At the beginning of March, he also ordered his army to intensify its military maneuvers in view of a “real war”.
The publication of several nuclear-related reports by state media on Tuesday seemed to indicate that the country was preparing to carry out a seventh nuclear test, analysts said. “North Korea has unveiled a dramatically miniaturized tactical nuclear warhead and many are wondering if it can actually detonate”said Cheong Seong-chang, a researcher at the Sejong Institute. “The possibility that as a next step North Korea will carry out a seventh nuclear test with these tactical nuclear warheads has increased”he told Agence France-Presse.
The North Korean army said on Tuesday it had carried out a second test of what it presented as a “underwater nuclear attack drone”whose first trial took place last week.
The new weapon, called Haeil (tsunami in Korean), was first tested, according to Pyongyang, in response to recent US-South Korean military drills, the largest in five years.
But Seoul cast doubt on that allegation and said “examine the possibility that this claim is exaggerated and fabricated” Some elements indicate that “North Korea is developing unmanned submarines, but it is believed to be in the early stages”the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.