Michael Cardinal, FISM News
At the North Korean weapons exhibit on Tuesday, communist leader Kim Jong Un blamed the US for being the “source of instability” in the region and also vowed to create an “invincible military” that no one could challenge.
The exhibition displayed many of the weapons that has caused recent concern in the international community, and comes amidst a recent surge in missile testing from North Korea. In the past several weeks Pyonyang has tested at least 4 different types of missiles. The most concerning of these tests were a hypersonic missile that can travel at immense speeds and a cruise missile that has the capability to carry a nuclear bomb.
Kim’s announcement is believed to be an effort to drive a wedge between long-time allies America and S. Korea. In his speech the communist dictator said that S. Korea was not their enemy and is not the reason they are building up their weaponry. This continues a trend in the past month of Pyongyang portraying a slightly more friendly disposition to their southern neighbors in an otherwise hostile relationship. Last week, N. Korea reopened communication lines and by Kim also commented that he desires for peace between the two nations.
NBC News reported that experts have said that they believe this may be an attempt to use South Korea as a pawn in an attempt to persuade the US to lift sanctions against them.
The country is under several international sanctions due to it’s continued development of nuclear and ballistic weapons despite an international ban. The US has said that they are willing to meet with Kim to discuss the sanctions, but he has refuted the offers, saying he will not reopen talks until sanctions are lifted.
Kim has continually claimed that their weapon’s program is only for self-defense and are not aimed at any country in particular – a claim that the international community is skeptical of.
South Korean officials said that Seoul and the US are analyzing the weapons that were displayed, while also noting that this was the first time since Kim took power that there had been this kind of weapon’s exhibition.