North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has issued a strong warning, stating that his military should “thoroughly annihilate” South Korea and the United States in the event that North Korea is provoked, according to reports.
Jong-un emphasized that North Korea is prepared to deploy all available resources against any political forces that seek to provoke the nation, echoing his previous aggressive rhetoric towards the U.S. and South Korea.
Urging the enhancement of national security, he stressed the need to sharpen "the treasured sword," which could be an allusion to the country's nuclear weapons program, according to the AP.
Al Jazeera, citing North Korean state media outlet KCNA, reported Jong-un's explicit instructions during the meeting, where he asserted that if the enemy chooses military confrontation, the North Korean army “should deal a deadly blow to thoroughly annihilate them by mobilizing all the toughest means and potentialities without [a] moment’s hesitation.”
He further issued direct threats, advocating the use of all available means, including nuclear weapons, to "suppress the whole territory of South Korea" in the event of a conflict.
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Jong-un additionally criticized its neighbor South Korea and its culture, referring to the nation as a “hemiplegic malformation and colonial subordinate state," Al Jazeera reported.
In response, the South Korean Defense Ministry warned that South Korean and U.S. forces would "punish" North Korea and potentially bring an end to Jong-un's regime if the country attempted to use nuclear weapons.
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President Yoon Suk Yeol, in a recent address, pledged to strengthen South Korea's military preemptive strike capabilities, missile defense and retaliatory capacities in response to Kim's threats.
President Yoon emphasized that the Republic of Korea seeks genuine, lasting peace through strength, rejecting a submissive peace dependent on the goodwill of adversaries, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Jong-un, during a five-day major ruling party meeting, announced plans to launch three military spy satellites, produce more nuclear materials and develop attack drones in 2024.
These measures, according to the AP, are seen as part of North Korea's efforts to enhance its leverage in future diplomacy with the U.S.
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