Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons birthday announcement ‘warning sign to Joe Biden’

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un unveiled plans for new nukes in a "challenge" to US President-elect Joe Biden, experts say.

The tubby tyrant celebrated his 37th birthday with a detailed wish-list for long-range missiles, super large warheads, spy satellites and a nuclear-powered submarine.

Ankit Panda, author of Kim Jong-un and the Bomb, said Mr Biden's administration should take threats issued from the secretive state last Friday seriously.

He told the BBC: "Kim's announcements no doubt are meant to emphasise to the incoming US administration that a failure to take quick action will result in North Korea qualitatively advancing its capabilities in ways deleterious to US and South Korean interests.

"I think the president-elect should take that at face value and, as soon as possible, clarify his perspective on what objectives his administration will seek in potential negotiations with North Korea.

"If Kim sees no shift from the traditional US emphasis on comprehensive and total nuclear disarmament before any sanctions can be eased, I'd think he'll simply push ahead with testing and other activities."

Duyeon Kim, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, added the US would have to make the first move and any deal will come at a cost.

He said: "Kim Jong-un's price for the US is ending combined military drills with Seoul, removing sanctions, and refraining from making human rights criticisms before talks. Washington won't do these unconditionally.

  • Kim Jong-un bans North Korean teens from using 'slang' and threatens brutal gulags

"Even if negotiations resumed, Kim's price is high for any deal because he's been suggesting Cold War-style arms control talks in which both sides take mutual and reciprocal steps. But that doesn't make sense because there's no parity between US and North Korean nuclear arsenals."

BBC News Seoul correspondent Laura Bicker said: "What Mr Kim is doing with this speech is trying to prove he has the upper hand.

"The military plans announced during one of the biggest political events in North Korea in the last five years may sound threatening – and it is indeed a threat.

"But it's also a challenge. The timing of this message is key as it comes as US President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office.

"He's resetting the starting point for talks – it's no longer about giving up his current arsenal, it's about preventing him from building a new and improved one."

Source: Read Full Article