North Korea’s leader has promised to build an “invincible military” vis-à-vis what it says are hostile policies from the United States, state media reported.
Kim Jong-un added that arms development was for self-defense, not for starting a war. Kim made the remarks at a rare defense show, while being flanked by many large rockets. North Korea recently tested what it claims are new hypersonic and anti-aircraft missiles.
The South, meanwhile, recently tested its own submarine-launched weapon.
In his speech at the 2021 Self-Defense Exhibition, which took place in the northern capital, Pyongyang, Kim speaking at the military build-up in the South and declared that North Korea did not want a war with its neighbor.
“We are not talking about war with anyone, but preferably to prevent the war itself and to protect national sovereignty literally to increase the threat of war,” he said.
Mr Kim, surrounded by a whole range of military hardware including tanks, accused the United States of lifting tensions between North and South Korea.
He said there was “no behavioral basis” for North Korea to believe that the United States was not hostile.
The United States government under the adminstration of President Joe Biden has repeatedly declared it is ready to converse with North Korea, but has asked that Pyongyang give up nuclear weapons before sanctions can be eased. North Korea has so far refused.
Kim Jong made it clear that he was not ready to build his arsenal, which he says he needs as a deterrent.
He promised to continue working on his wish list of weapons, while noting that South Korea is doing the same by building up its defense capabilities in recent years. Just days earlier, he had asked his officials to focus on improving the lives of the North Korean people when they were in a “grim” economic situation.