North Korea announced a shift in its stance, stating that it would cease efforts towards reunification and reconciliation with South Korea. Leader Kim Jong Un declared the country’s commitment to launching three new military spy satellites into orbit by 2024.
Speaking about inter-Korean relations, Kim said that it had become “a relationship between two hostile countries and two belligerents at war”, as reported by the state-run news agency KCNA.
“It’s time for us to acknowledge the reality and clarify our relationship with the South,” said Kim, adding that if Washington and Seoul were to attempt a military confrontation with Pyongyang, its “nuclear war deterrent will not hesitate to take serious action.”
“I believe that it is a mistake that we must no longer make to deal with the people who declare us as ‘the main enemy’ and seek only opportunities for ‘[our] regime collapse’ and ‘unification by absorption’ by collaborating for reconciliation and unification,” the North Korean leader added.
North and South Korea have remained detached from each other after the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice. The two countries have been at war technically but the two governments have been seeking the goal of reunifying one day.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s state media reported Sunday (Dec 31) that the country has planned to launch three more spy satellites in 2024 as part of its measures to ramp up its military.
Last month, a spy satellite was successfully placed into an orbit by Pyongyang and since then, it has claimed to be providing images of major US and South Korean military sites.
The country this year also carried out a record-breaking number of weapons tests, which included the launch of the country’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this month.
“The task of launching three additional reconnaissance satellites in 2024 was declared” as one of the key major decisions at a year-end party meeting for next year, said the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The five-day meeting, which came to an end on Saturday, also saw participation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“The United States, which has long caused and worsened political instability on the Korean peninsula, continues to pose various types of military threat to our country even as the year is coming to an end,” said Kim.
In the wake of growing missile and nuclear threats from Pyongyang this year, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington ramped up defence co-operation and also activated a system for sharing real-time data on missile launches by North Korea.