North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned the world will witness “a new strategic weapon” from the isolated nation in the “near future” as nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang are stuck in a stalemate.
According to reports of his remarks from North Korean state media, Kim blasted the U.S. for its “hostile policy” toward North Korea and said he had no expectation Washington would lift sanctions on his country soon.
“Saying that we should more actively push forward the project for developing strategic weapons, he confirmed that the world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by the DPRK in the near future,” state media outlet KCNA reported, using to the abbreviation for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“He solemnly declared that there is no need to hesitate with any expectation of the U.S. lift of sanctions even now that we had close look into the real intention of the U.S., adding if the U.S. persists in its hostile policy towards the DPRK, there will never be the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and the DPRK will steadily develop necessary and prerequisite strategic weapons for the security of the state until the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy,” KCNA added.
Kim has employed increasingly hostile rhetoric toward the U.S. in recent months, including threatening a “Christmas gift” that ultimately never materialized.
President Trump has made reaching a settlement with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs a centerpiece of his foreign policy in Asia, though negotiations have stalled in recent months.
Kim suspended nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests last year during a diplomacy campaign with Washington and Seoul but has threatened that Pyongyang could embark on a “new path” if the U.S. maintains its sanctions.
KCNA cited Kim as slamming Trump for the sanctions and continuing military drills with South Korea, saying it is evidence that the White House “remained unchanged in its ambition to stifle” North Korea.
“He stressed that under such condition, there is no ground for us to get unilaterally bound to the commitment any longer, the commitment to which there is no opposite party, and this is chilling our efforts for worldwide nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” KCNA reported.
Lawmakers in D.C. have warned Pyongyang against a return to testing its nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), threatening that such a move would could lead to a confrontation.
“If North Korea goes back to nuclear testing or they go back to ICBM testing, that will destroy their last best chance to have a win-win agreement with President Trump, and that will put us on a collision course because we’re not going to allow them to develop the military capability to strike America with a nuclear weapon,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said this month. “So if they go down that road, it will burn the bridges available to them.”
Trump and Kim have held two official nuclear summits that have thus far yielded little progress. The last one, which took place in Vietnam in February, ended early without any agreement.
North Korea has blamed the stalled negotiations on Washington’s “political and military provocations.”
The two leaders met for a third time briefly in June at the border between North and South Korea, though a meeting in October between aides also broke down without any progress.