North Korea is aiming its nuclear weapons at the U.S., not other countries, a senior government official reportedly told world leaders this weekend. That means other nations should not be afraid of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s growing military ambitions, but Washington should be, at least, according to North Korea.
“Today’s reality shows that our obtaining of nuclear (weapons) shatters the U.S. ambition to secure its supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region and safeguards peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and its region,” Ri Jong-hyok, deputy of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly and director of the National Reunification Institute, told the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in Turkey, according to Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party.
China, Japan, the European Union and other nations and government bodies have increasingly called on North Korea to set aside its nuclear weapons development program in recent months, but Ri said North Korea will not stop its fight against the U.S. North Korea’s Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is widely thought to be capable of striking the U.S., Latin Ameria, Western Africa and Antartica.
“It’s Korean people’s resolute decision that (North Korea) should face off the U.S. only with nuclear (weapons) to achieve the balance of power,” Ri said in Turkey, Yonhap News Agency reported on Sunday. “Our nuclear deterrence is a sword of justice aimed at fighting (U.S.) nuke and Asia and any country in the world need not worry about our threats as long as they do not join invasion and provocations toward us.”
U.S. officials said they are taking North Korea’s threats seriously. The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said in an interview with ABC’s This Week on Sunday that growing tensions between North Korea and Washington are troubling and suggest Kim could use his nuclear weapons to launch an attack. While the US, South Korea and Japan have anti-missile systems that could potentially stop ballistic missiles leaving North Korea, missile intercept failures are possible.
“I think it’s more probable than it used to be, and it scares me to death quite frankly,” retired Admiral Mike Mullen told This Week of a North Korean nuclear attack. “They’re the most dangerous weapons in the world. And, certainly if we have someone in North Korea that has a lethal legacy, is very, very unpredictable and sees this as a way to solidify his future, that he could well not just obtain them, but potentially use them,” he added.
President Donald Trump told U.S. soldiers during a 12-day tour of Asia in November to be prepared to stand up to Kim’s nuclear threats. “We dominate the sky, we dominate the sea, we dominate the land and space,” he said. “Each of you embodies the warrior creed. Your devotion, prowess, and expertise make you the most fearsome fighting force in the history of our world.”