North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reiterated his warning that Pyongyang could "preventively" use its nuclear weapons to counter hostile forces, state media reported.
In a speech to senior military officers, Kim Jong Un said that in order to "maintain the absolute superiority" of North Korea's armed forces, the country must be able to "preventively and thoroughly restrain and thwart all dangerous attempts and threatening actions ... if necessary ", reads the news of the state agency KCNA.
Pyongyang must continue to build up its arsenal so that it can have "huge military musculature that no force in the world can provoke," Kim said, calling the weapons "a lifeline to ensure our country's security."
On Monday, during a military parade, the North Korean leader also made similar statements - that the country could use its nuclear arsenal if North Korea's "fundamental interests" are threatened. On Saturday, Kim met with senior military leaders to praise their work at a parade marking the country's 90th anniversary and showcasing its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles, AFP reported.
Despite heavy sanctions, North Korea has redoubled Kim's military modernization efforts by conducting numerous tests this year on nuclear weapons banned by international conventions, ignoring US proposals for negotiations.
Last month, Pyongyang tested a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time since 2017, and satellite imagery showed signs of nuclear activity in the country.
The series of weapons tests comes as South Korea prepares for future President Yoon Suk-yeol to take office. He is pursuing a tougher policy towards Pyongyang and has not ruled out a preemptive strike if necessary.
Analysts say Kim's warning shows he is not open to dialogue with Seoul's new government.
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