North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has issued a warning, stating that his country would launch a nuclear attack if provoked by an enemy with nuclear weapons, seemingly referring to the United States. The statement was made during a meeting with soldiers involved in the launch drill of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to state media.
Kim emphasized that the recent military activity demonstrated North Korea's offensive counteraction mode and evolution of its nuclear strategy, signaling a willingness to respond with a nuclear attack if provoked. The North Korean leadership typically refers to South Korea and the United States as enemies, with the US being the only nation capable of mounting a nuclear attack on North Korea.
The DPRK announced on Tuesday that it had tested its latest ICBM to assess its nuclear force's readiness against increasing American hostility. Kim praised the ICBM test, highlighting the military's high mobility and rapid attack capability, urging further strengthening of combat efficiency.
In a separate statement, Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, defended the ICBM launch as an exercise of the nation's right to self-defense. She denounced the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for convening a session over the launch and placed responsibility on the US and South Korea for escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
An emergency UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday addressed Pyongyang's latest ICBM launch. North Korea and Russia clashed with the US, South Korea, and their allies. North Korean Ambassador Kim Song referred to the current year as "the most dangerous" in the military-security landscape on the Korean Peninsula, citing increased US-South Korean military exercises and the deployment of nuclear assets, which he deemed a "nuclear war danger."
US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood condemned the ICBM launch, and Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva criticized attempts to condemn Pyongyang, warning of an escalating and dangerous situation on the brink. She accused the US of deploying a massive military machine in the region, raising concerns about preparations for an offensive operation despite US claims of non-hostile intentions.