North Korea’s Kim Jong Un preparing for war − citing ‘unprecedented’ US behavior

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  • South Korea’s spy agency said Thursday that North Korea was likely to carry out military provocations ahead of major elections in South Korea and the US.
  • North Korea’s military industrial sector, nuclear weapons sector and civil defense sector were urged to “further accelerate the completion of preparations for this war.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his nation’s industrial and military sectors to prepare for war with the United States, citing “unprecedented” confrontational activity by the U.S. and its allies.

Kim, speaking at a 2024 planning meeting Wednesday of his ruling Workers’ Party, said an in-depth analysis indicated the “severe political and military situation” on the Korean peninsula had “reached its limit,” the state-run news agency reported Thursday. The news agency said the military industrial sector, nuclear weapons sector and civil defense sector were urged to “further accelerate the completion of preparations for this war.”

Kim’s statements continue a pattern of threatening rhetoric in recent months. It comes less than two weeks after the White House “reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to provide extended deterrence” against Pyongyang and dismissed no military options − including nuclear.

“Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies is unacceptable and will result in the end of the Kim regime,” the White House statement said, warning that any nuclear attack targeting South Korea would be “met with a swift, overwhelming, and decisive response.”

Last month, North Korea put a military spy satellite into orbit after two previous failed attempts. The U.S. and its allies consider the satellite a breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions. On Wednesday, Kim pledged to expand cooperative relations with “independent, anti-imperialist countries in preparation for the rapidly changing international political landscape.”

South Korea’s spy agency said Thursday that Kim was likely to carry out military provocations ahead of major elections in South Korea and the United States in 2024. The National Intelligence Service cited North Korea’s track record of staging provocations before general elections in South Korea. Kim also has recently reinstated key figures involved in high-profile provocations against Seoul, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol on Thursday ordered troops not to wait for orders to retaliate in the event of an attack, saying the military “should smash the enemy’s desire for provocations immediately,” Yonhap reported.

Harry Kazianis, senior director of National Security Affairs at the Center for the National Interest, a conservative, Washington-based public policy think tank, told USA TODAY he is concerned that war with North Korea could become a “real possibility.”

Pyongyang has been working on tactical nuclear weapons for years, and just testing them could spark a crisis with Washington and Seoul, Kazianis said. He added that North Korea could test an intercontinental ballistic missile by sending it thousands of miles into the Pacific Ocean to ensure its missiles can indeed reach the U.S.

Kim has strengthened ties with Russia in recent months, and he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a Russian spaceport, in September. Putin has been scrambling to arm his war against Ukraine, and last month U.S. authorities said Pyongyang had shipped more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions to Russia.

Kim believes he can do a lot of provocative things and “never pay a price” as China and Russia are fully in the North Korean camp thanks to tensions with Washington, Kazianis said.

“The Kim family also knows that in 2024 America will be looking inward toward its presidential election, giving them the room to cause chaos and feel no pain,” he said.

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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un preparing for war − citing ‘unprecedented’ US behavior

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