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Kim Jong Un says scope of bolstering nuclear deterrent will depend on U.S. attitude

NHK reported on Wednesday that according to North Korea’s state-run media, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said at a four-day plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee that the bolstering of his country’s “nuclear deterrent” will depend on Washington’s stance toward Pyongyang. Kim delivered a speech during the session touching on the denuclearization talks with the United States in which he reportedly said Pyongyang will “reliably put on constant alert the powerful nuclear deterrent capable of containing the nuclear threats from the United States” to guarantee his country’s long-term security. He also said the “scope and depth” of bolstering the deterrent will be “properly calibrated” to the future U.S. attitude to his nation. Kim claimed that the “hostile acts and nuclear threat” against his country are increasing and the world will witness a “new strategic weapon” soon to be in his country’s possession. According to the report, Kim suggested that the stalemate between his country and the United States will be protracted.

 

NHK reported that Secretary of State Pompeo said in an interview with CBS on Tuesday that he hopes North Korea will live up to its commitments and maintain a diplomatic course. He apparently made this comment in response to Kim’s remark in his speech at the Workers’ Party Central Committee session that his country is no longer bound by its commitments to halt nuclear testing and ICBM test launches. Secretary Pompeo said it would be deeply disappointing if Kim were to renege on the commitments he made to President Trump. The Secretary added that the commitments were made in exchange for the President’s agreeing not to conduct large-scale military exercises, noting that the United States lives up to its commitments and he hopes the North will do the same. According to NHK, Secretary Pompeo told Fox News he hopes Kim will make the right decision by choosing peace and prosperity over conflict and war.

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