State media has reported that North Korea has passed a law that enshrines the right to “automatically” use preemptive nuclear strikes to protect itself. This move, which the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, has stated makes the country’s nuclear status “irreversible,” and it bars any talks about denuclearization.
This comes after historic summits with then-US Former president Donald Trump and other world leaders in 2018 failed to convince Kim to abandon his weapons development.
State news agency KCNA claimed on Friday that the North’s rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly, enacted the legislation on Thursday as a successor to a law that was initially passed in 2013 that established the country’s nuclear status.
Kim stated in front of the assembly that he would never give up the nuclear weapons, even if the country was subjected to 100 years of sanctions, that the most important aspect of legislating nuclear weapons policy is to draw an irretrievable line so that there can be no bargaining over the country’s nuclear arsenal. Kim’s comments came during a speech that he gave.
According to KCNA, a deputy at the assembly stated that the law would serve as a powerful legal guarantee for consolidating North Korea’s position as a nuclear weapons state and ensuring the “transparent, consistent, and standard character” of its nuclear policy. This statement was made by a delegate at the assembly.
The legislation that was passed in 2013 said that North Korea had the right to use nuclear weapons to defend itself against an invasion or assault from another nuclear state that was hostile, as well as to launch retaliation attacks.
The new legislation goes far further than that and makes it possible to launch preemptive nuclear attacks in the event that an impending assault using weapons of mass destruction or against the “strategic objectives” of the nation, which might include its leadership, is identified.
This seems to be a reference to South Korea’s “kill chain” plan, which advocates launching preemptive strikes on North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure and command system in the event that an impending assault is anticipated.
Kill chain is a component of a three-pronged military plan that is being expanded under the new president of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol. Kim highlighted this as an indication that the situation is worsening and that Pyongyang must prepare for long-term hostilities.
Chad O’Carroll, the creator of the website NK News, which monitors North Korea, said on Twitter that, “Under a nutshell, there are some pretty broad and murky scenarios in which North Korea is now claiming it may use its nuclear weapons.”
According to KCNA, the law also prohibits any sharing of nuclear arms or technology with other countries. Its primary objective is to lessen the likelihood of a nuclear war occurring by reducing the likelihood of miscalculations among states that possess nuclear weapons and the misuse of nuclear weapons.
According to the opinions of several analysts, Kim’s objective is to have North Korea recognised by the world community as a “responsible nuclear state.”
The administration of Joe Biden has extended an invitation to speak to Kim Jong-un at any time and any location, and the president of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, has said that his nation is willing to provide large sums of financial assistance to Pyongyang if it begins to give up its weapons.
In the first direct approach made by Yoon’s administration, South Korea made an invitation to North Korea on Thursday to discuss the possibility of reuniting families who had been split up as a result of the Korean War that took place between 1950 and 1953.
However, North Korea has rejected such overtures, claiming that the United States and its allies continue to implement “hostile measures” such as sanctions and military exercises, which contradict its messages of peace.
The statements made by Kim highlighted the growing tensions in the area at a time when he is speeding up the growth of his nuclear weapons and missiles programme. In recent months, Kim has delivered more inflammatory warnings of nuclear confrontation against the United States and its allies in Asia. Additionally, he has warned that the North will proactively deploy its nuclear weapons when threatened.
This year, Kim has conducted a record number of weapons tests, firing more than 30 ballistic weapons. These tests include the first displays of Kim’s intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017, which took place earlier this year.