(SEOUL) North Korea’s number one Kim Jong-un has called for increased production of “military nuclear material” and the production of more powerful weapons, state media reported on Tuesday.
This latest threat from Mr. Kim, which echoes an earlier promise to increase nuclear weapons production “exponentially”, comes just ahead of the scheduled arrival of a US Navy aircraft carrier in South Korea, Tuesday.
After speaking with officials from the country’s nuclear weapons institute, the leader said North Korea must prepare to use its nuclear weapons “anywhere and anytime”, according to the agency. official KCNA.
He also called on officials to “long-term develop the production of military nuclear material in order to thoroughly implement the plan […] for the exponential increase of nuclear arsenals”.
Kim also “encouraged the continued production of powerful nuclear weapons,” KCNA added.
When North Korea has “perfectly” prepared its nuclear weapons systems, “the enemy will fear us and dare not challenge the sovereignty of our state, our system and our people,” Kim said. according to the same source.
Last year, North Korea declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power and Kim Jong-un recently called for an “exponential” increase in the production of weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons.
In early March, he also ordered his army to intensify military maneuvers for “real war”.
North Korea’s military said on Tuesday it had carried out a second test of what it described as an “underwater nuclear attack drone”, the first test of which took place last week.
The new weapon, called Haeil – which means tsunami in Korean – was tested, according to Pyongyang, in response to recent US-South Korean military drills, the largest in five years.
She maneuvered underwater “for 41 hours and 27 minutes following a simulated 600 kilometer route” before exploding on a target off North Hamgyong province early Monday, KCNA said.
The test “demonstrated all strategic qualifications as well as the security and reliability of the weapons system,” according to KCNA.
Russia has reportedly developed a similar weapon, the Poseidon nuclear torpedo, but mastering the complex technology required for such weaponry may still be beyond North Korea’s reach, experts say.
The North Korean military also conducted a firing exercise on Monday, simulating a nuclear attack using tactical ballistic missiles, the KCNA news agency said in a separate statement.