North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, during the ruling Workers Party’s meeting, promised to give all his might to strengthen his country’s nuclear arsenal.
The party congress concluded on Tuesday after eight days and Kim seemed to have been confronted by the hardest time of his nine-year leadership.
The economy of the North, which was already destroyed by mishandling and the sanctions being implemented by the US over its nuclear weapons program, further suffered a blow due to border restrictions intended to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 spread. Typhoons and floods that hit the country and wiped out its summer crops have added to the damages.
“We must further strengthen the nuclear war deterrent while doing our best to build up the most powerful military strength,” Kim said in his concluding speech, as quoted and published by state-run media outlets.
The state television has flashed the North Korean leader in his black Mao suit and horn-rimmed glasses as he said his remarks before a thousand of party elites.
During his speech, Kim mentioned that North Korea must “continue to give fresh spur” for its defense force to become more powerful that it could deal with “any form of threat and emergency.”
“The hostile forces will try to check our advance more frantically, and the world will watch how the political declaration and fighting program of our (party) are realized,” the leader said.
He also included his plans for the economy, reiterating superior control over it.
Included in his five-year economic plan is to give a boost on agricultural production and putting first the creation of chemicals and metal industries.
According to outside observers, the sections that Kim mentioned would be important for North Korea to revive industrial production affected by sanctions and the pandemic.
Intelligence officials and analysts from South Korea also claim that the North is giving hints on doing spectacular steps to bolster the government’s rule over markets. Among this, the North seemed to give signals in repressing the use of US dollars and currencies used by foreign lands.
An analyst at a Seoul-based spy agency named Lim Soo-ho suggested that Kim’s steps establish the government’s sense of pressure over its diminishing foreign currency reserves as it will force its people to exchange their foreign currency savings for the North Korean won.
As reported at KCNA, the North will gather its parliament on Sunday for them to give a go signal to the decision and officially make it a law.
North Korea’s economic strains leaves its leader empty with things to show for his summits with US outgoing President Donald Trump.
After their talks in Vietnam in February 2019 ended in failure, diplomacy between US and North Korea has weakened. The US has also turned down the request of North Korea for major sanctions relief, as the latter will partially renounce its nuclear capabilities.
Kim also appeared to be more zealous on his aim to further the North’s nuclear capabilities, as he expressed during the congress.
The leader announced his intention to create a more sophisticated military arsenal, which will include longer-range missiles, new tactical nuclear weapons, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and hypersonic weapons.
While it remains doubtful where the North will go to acquire the systems their leaders are aiming for, the North is also considered to have kept a number of nuclear weapons.