Kim Jong Un has threatened to develop more advanced nuclear weapons to warn North Korea’s “greatest enemy” – the US.
The secret state leader said America’s “hostile” policies would not change regardless of who is in the White House, state news agency KCNA said.
His threat comes into turmoil with America following an attempted riot in Washington on Wednesday, calling for Donald Trump to be removed from office before his presidency ends on January 20.
“Our foreign policy activities should be aimed at subjugating the US, our greatest enemy and main obstacle to our innovative development,” Kim said during nine hours of multi-day remarks at a rare party conference in Pyongyang.
“No matter who is in power in the US, the real nature of the US and its basic policy towards North Korea never changes,” said Kim, promising to develop ties with “anti-imperialist independent forces.”
North Korea would not “abuse” its nuclear weapons, Kim said, but the country is expanding its nuclear arsenal, including “preventive” and “avenging” strike capabilities and warheads of various sizes.
Kim called for equipment including hypersonic weapons, solid fuel ICBMs, spy satellites and drones to be developed.
North Korea is preparing to test and produce a variety of new weapons, including a “multi-warhead missile” and “supersonic gliding warheads for novel ballistic missiles,” while research on a nuclear submarine is nearing completion, he said.
“Kim showed pretty much what was on his mind – submarine missiles, better ICBMs and other advanced weapons,” said Yoo Ho-yeol, professor of North Korean Studies at Korea University in Seoul.
“He says this is basically what Washington will see in the future, which could escalate tensions or open doors for discussion.”
The elected US President Joe Biden, who was Vice President under President Barack Obama, called Kim a “thug” during the election campaign.
In 2019, North Korea named Biden a “rabid dog” that had to be “beaten to death with a stick”.
Kim had three unprecedented meetings with Trump and the two corresponded in a series of letters, but those efforts did not result in a denuclearization deal or an official change in relations between the countries.
Biden said in October that he will only meet Kim on condition that North Korea agrees to reduce its nuclear capacity.
North Korea is facing growing crises caused by international sanctions related to its nuclear program as well as self-imposed bans to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.
Kim criticized South Korea for its cooperation in “non-essential” areas like coronavirus relief and tourism, saying the South should stop buying and conducting military exercises with the United States.