Kim Jong-un of North Korea has announced on Sunday that the country is now in the final stages of testing its new long-range missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. As noted by the controversial North Korean leader, these new weapons could be used against the U.S. and South Korea if the two nations continue to uphold their military cooperation.
Through a televised announcement, Kim noted that Pyongyang is preparing to launch a new batch of tests for its inter-continental ballistic missile or ICBM weapons.
“Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparations is in its last stage,” he said according to BBC.
Through these new batch of tests, Kim is hoping that North Korea will become a “military power of the East that cannot be touched by even the strongest enemy.”
For the past couple of years, North Korea has been making headlines due to its various missile tests. In October of 2016, the country carried out two tests for the Musudan, which is a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The tests, however, did not yield positive results and was viewed by other governments, particularly by the U.S. and South Korea, as an indicator of Pyongyang’s limits when it comes to developing fully-capable nuclear weapons.
But, according to Thae Yong Ho, a former North Korean diplomat who defected, North Korea’s recent announcement regarding the upcoming testing of the ICBM was intended to serve as a warning for the incoming administration under President-elect Donald Trump.
He stated that even though Pyongyang’s previous tests have failed, the latest announcement shows that Kim is still willing to push the development of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities due to the ongoing military ties between the U.S. and South Korea.
“Due to domestic procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the U.S. will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea’s nuclear development,” he said according to The Washington Times.