North Korean leader Kim Jong-un blamed the US for tensions on the Korean Peninsula and accused South Korea of hypocrisy, state media reported yesterday, as he opened an exhibition showcasing his nuclear-armed nation’s weapons.
The “wrong judgement and acts” of the US meant instability could not be resolved, he said in an address to “Self-Defense 2021,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.
Pyongyang is under multiple international sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Photo: EPA-EFE / KCNA
North Korea in 2017 tested missiles that can reach the whole of the continental US and carried out its most powerful nuclear explosion to date. Pyongyang says it needs its arsenal to protect itself against a US invasion.
Analysts say North Korea is seeking to normalize its status as a nuclear power.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly said that it has no hostile intent toward Pyongyang, but Kim said: “Its behaviors provide us with no reason why we should believe in them.”
“I wonder if there is any person or state who believes in its claim and, if any, I am curious to know who they are,” he said.
However, he insisted that the weapons were for self-defense and not aimed at any particular nation.
Kim’s comments and the show itself were intended to justify Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs as “part of its right to self-defense,” Ewha Womans University professor of North Korean studies Park Won-gon said.
“North Korea held the exhibition on purpose to claim that their weapons development programs are no different from those of other countries,” Park said.
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