North Korea considers resuming nuclear and ICBM tests to boost military

Jan 20, 2022: North Korea indicated on Thursday that it could resume nuclear and long-range weapons tests as it prepares for a “confrontation” with Washington over a series of missile launches breaking sanctions.

Pyongyang has not conducted an intercontinental ballistic missile or nuclear test since 2017, halting launches since leader Kim Jong Un began high-level diplomacy, two years after talks with then-US President Donald Trump three times before talks collapsed two years later.

Since then, the nuclear-armed North has resumed some tests, rejecting US offer of talks, including hypersonic missiles, as Kim pursues its clear goal of further strengthening its military. When Washington imposed new sanctions last week, Pyongyang called it a “provocation” and vowed to respond “strongly and decisively” to efforts to curb it, promoting conventional weapons tests.

State television KCNA reported, “The hostile policy and military threat by the US have reached a danger line that can not be overlooked any more,”

The North’s top officials “unanimously recognized that we should make more thorough preparation for a long-term confrontation with the US imperialists,”

North Korea bided its time during US President Joe Biden’s first year in office, but with no offer for top-level talks, they’ve moved on, said Hong Min of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.

At a meeting of North Korea’s ruling party’s powerful politburo, chaired by leader Kim Jong Un, presided over by leader Kim Jong Un, has said that it will consider resuming “all temporarily suspended” nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests amid an ongoing effort to boost the country’s military against a “hostile” United States, state media reported.

The country’s Rodong Simmun newspaper quoted members of the Politburo as saying they were “reviewing the resumption of all operations, which had been temporarily suspended”, tests of nuclear weapons and ICBMs.

The potential resumption of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile tests in the region has come at a critical time in the region, with Kim’s only major ally China set to host next month’s Winter Olympics and South Korea preparing for presidential elections in March.

Following the series of missile tests and launches this month, the US has already called on the country to “stop its illegal and destabilizing activities” and said it would call for new UN sanctions on North Korea.

But China’s special envoy to the Korean Peninsula slammed the idea of ​​a Security Council meeting to discuss fresh sanctions on the North’s already troubled economy. “#SecurityCouncil has no plans to discuss the so-called draft resolution on sanctions on #DPRK,” Liu Xiaoming wrote on Twitter.

A freight train from North Korea arrived in the Chinese border town of Dandong last weekend for the first time since early 2020.

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