On 15 September it released a statement by the director of its Atomic Energy Institute insisting that all of its Yongbyon facilities had “started normal operations”.
North Korea has made bellicose threats against its neighbours and the USA before, often to coincide with annual joint military exercises held by South Korea and U.S. forces.
But the threats may deepen a standoff between the North and the United States and its allies as they strike at Washington’s fear that each rocket and nuclear test puts the North a step closer to its goal of an arsenal of nuclear-tipped long-range missiles that can hit the USA mainland. United Nations sanctions were imposed over the years after three nuclear tests by Pyongyang and a series of long-range missile tests. The North launched its first long-distance rocket in 1998.
The weeklong event is to begin October 20 in Mount Kumkang, North Korea’s famous resort. As a world leader, China will likely stop treating the North as a client state and use its influence to correct the North’s bad behavior under the greater theme of regional stability and prosperity.
“Obviously, we routinely talk about the threats and challenges posed by North Korea with our friends and partners in the region”, Kirby said.
The South Korean Unification Ministry official walked a delicate line on possible consequences of the North Korean rhetoric.
North Korea, an autocracy run by the same family since 1948, closely controls information about its nuclear program.
The White House said North Korea should “focus instead on fulfilling its worldwide obligations”. The United Nations Security Council has barred North Korea from using such technology. North Korea booted out global inspectors in 2009, and independent assessments by outside experts since then have been spotty.
“The North always wants the attention of the global community and knows that flagging its weapons programmes is one way to get it”, Koh said. Military tensions escalated to a new peak after two South Korean soldiers were injured by land mines planted by the North inside the demilitarized zone, but Seoul and Pyongyang managed to ease animosities through marathon negotiations by top security officials. Ri attended the conference previous year and argued that Pyongyang has no choice but to pursue nuclear programs as a deterrent against US hostility.
The Unha-3 is seen as a prototype intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), although the North has yet to conduct a test showing it has mastered the re-entry technology required for an effective ICBM capability.
The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. “In the meantime, the United States anachronistic hostile policy toward the DPRK that forced it to have access to the nuclear weapons has remained utterly unchanged and instead it has become all the more undisguised and vicious with the adaption of means openly seeking the downfall of the latter’s social system”. About 28,500 USA troops are stationed in South Korea.