print PRINT

INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Kim Jong Un’s “secret” speech offers evidence of his obsession with nuclear arms, missiles

  • September 6, 2017
  • , Mainichi evening edition , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

By Takuma Suzuki


North Korea has just conducted its sixth nuclear test, embarking on another provocation after it fired a ballistic missile over Hokkaido. Why is Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Chairman Kim Jong Un so obsessed with nuclear weapons and missiles? We obtained a copy of a secret speech that offered clues to this obsession.


The text of this speech was published in a small 13-page booklet with a green cover. The title of the speech dated March 6, 2016 was: “Give Concrete Expression to the Ideology of Self-Strengthening: Consolidate the Power of Independent Defense Industry,” which is believed to have been given to leading cadres of the WPK and the Korean People’s Army (KPA). Self-strengthening means self-reliance. This speech was not reported at all by the WPK organ Rodong Sinmun or other DPRK media, and there were no reports of Kim’s activities on that day either.


The booklet was published on April 10 this year. This is probably because more than one year after the speech, there was a need to convey the supreme leader’s thoughts to the people.


The speech started with open hostility toward “the U.S. and its lackeys.” This was to be expected because the largest scale joint U.S.-ROK military exercises in history were taking place on the next day, March 7. North Korea had conducted its first “hydrogen bomb” test in early 2016, followed by the launching of a ballistic missile under the guise of an “artificial satellite” in February. The UN Security Council passed a sanctions resolution and there was increasing pressure from the international community.


“If the enemies draw their blades, we will brandish our long swords; and if they draw their firearms, we will deploy our cannons. Such was the consistent principle, conviction, and bravery of the Great Leader (President Kim Il Sung) and the Great General (General Secretary Kim Jong Il) when confronting the enemies… We must also firmly confront the enemies’ hard-line stance with a super tough attitude and indomitable conviction and determination.”


Jong Un said that the history of the defense industry is synonymous with the path traversed by his grandfather and father.


“The people tightened their belts and never voiced a single complaint about diverting funds to the defense industry. The people unconditionally believed in the justness of the party’s actions. They had no doubt that their lives would get better someday, as long as they followed the party. They supported our party’s leadership.


“Once when the Great General was about to lift the lid of a pot when visiting a home (during his inspection tour of the localities), the tiny hands of a small child tried to hide the weeds inside the pot. These were people who resolutely vowed that they would never leave the Great General’s bosom and seek shelter under the eaves of another house (meaning defect to China or another country) even if they might freeze to death. That was precisely how our people were.”


As a result, North Korea has conducted repeated nuclear tests and embarked on the development of ICBMs, SLBMs, and other missiles. It is now eyeing the completion of missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. Jong Un got excited and was very eloquent. He said: “Today, our defense industry has developed powerful precision weapons that can smash the enemies’ lethal weapons like boiled pumpkin. Our defense industry has turned the enemies’ pretentious (theory of) superiority of military technology into mere scraps of paper.”


Jong Un also called for “aggressive expansion of publicity” on these achievements “through the propaganda sections’ publications and education networks.”


However, why is North Korea not afraid of the United States, the number one military power in the world? Kim said: “The enemies believe in the omnipotence of weapons but we advocate the superiority of ideology. The deciding factor in winning a war is the power of the political ideology of millions of soldiers and people solidly united around the party. I have emphasized that if the U.S. imperialist aggressors attack us, the entire North Korean people should rise up and resist. This means achieving the reunification of the motherland through the power of the political ideology of millions of our soldiers and people. Our people would not be afraid even if a war were to break out tomorrow. While war-weariness permeates our enemies, our people, youth, and students sing out the song ‘Dear Leader, Issue the Order’ whenever the situation gets serious; they are filled with the fighting spirit to destroy the enemies. They are enlisting in the KPA and demobilized soldiers are returning enthusiastically.”


Such fanaticism sounds familiar. It reminds us of prewar Japan. Jong Un studied in Switzerland and is supposed to have knowledge of the Western world, and yet, he was talking about this “illusion.” Does he really believe that North Korea can survive in isolation? He cited an episode in which his father opposed the introduction of foreign capital even when the country was facing unprecedented economic difficulties and stated: “It is precisely by arming the cadres, party members, and workers with the ideology of self-strengthening that servility and reliance on imports can be eliminated and all the problems in the process of building a strong socialist country can be resolved with our own hands.”


Toward the end of his speech, Jong Un offered this vision of North Korea in the future: “We must bring the enemies to their knees with strong defense capability and deterrence against war and safeguard the peace and security of the motherland to create favorable conditions for concentrating our financial and human resources on the struggle for economic construction and improvement of the people’s lives. In this way, our people will benefit from [our country’s] being a military and nuclear power and the future generations will enjoy happiness. Such a day is right before our eyes.”


Only two days after this speech was delivered, Jong Un visited the nuclear arms research institute. In front of a big silver ball-shaped object which looked like a model nuclear bomb, he declared with great satisfaction: “The U.S. does not have a monopoly on the right to launch a preemptive nuclear strike.”


Jong Un advertised himself as a “military genius” at the time of his political debut. And now, his dream of possessing nuclear arms and missiles has been realized. His speech had the air of a solitary self-intoxicated “dictator.” (Slightly abridged)

  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan