North Korean leader echoes earlier bellicose rhetoric after promising to launch new satellites and further expand arsenal.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his military to “thoroughly annihilate” South Korea and the United States if they initiate a military confrontation in another round of bellicose rhetoric targeting Seoul and Washington.
The two allies ramped up military and political cooperation in 2023 as North Korea conducted a record number of weapons tests, including of a new solid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and put its first spy satellite into orbit.
At a meeting with North Korea’s top commanding officers in Pyongyang on New Year’s Eve, Kim said his military should “annihilate” the enemy if provoked, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday.
Kim has already indicated he plans to put three more satellites into space and further develop his country’s weapons arsenal this year.
“If the enemy opts for military confrontation and provocation against the DPRK, our army should deal a deadly blow to thoroughly annihilate them by mobilising all the toughest means and potentialities without [a] moment’s hesitation,” Kim said, using the abbreviation of North Korea’s official name.