North Korea is ramping up its nuclear threat through propaganda and weapons testing as 2023 begins. North Korean state media reported on Sunday that dictator Kim Jong Un had ordered an “exponential increase” in the hermit regime’s weapons arsenal and nuclear capabilities.
Kim specifically declared his military is actively developing a more powerful intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental United States. He said the communist country’s latest missiles will have “a rapid nuclear counterattack capability.”
North Korea's Kim orders 'exponential' expansion of nuke arsenal https://t.co/XRccHJBoN6 pic.twitter.com/9tzspZuvuw
— New York Post (@nypost) January 1, 2023
Kim’s Korean Central News Agency reported that the North Korean leader said the nation was entering “2023 with this as the basic direction.” It also said that Kim claimed the U.S. and South Korea were “dealt a serious blow by the rapid advancement of our military power.”
Kim also announced that North Korea plans to launch its first military spy satellite soon. The North Korean military said last month that it used two missiles to test cameras and surveillance hardware needed to equip a proposed high-Earth-orbit spy satellite. In addition, it released some low-resolution images of South Korean cities to bolster its claims.
Kim said the U.S. is working to “isolate and stifle the Korean Peninsula,” which “demands redoubled efforts to strengthen the overwhelming military power that can thoroughly guarantee the sovereignty, security and fundamental interests of the Republic in response to the worrisome military behavior of the U.S. and hostile forces.”
The U.S. military reported that North Korea test-fired more than 70 missiles of various ranges and capabilities in 2022. The last test of the year saw three short-range ballistic missiles launched on New Year’s Eve.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that it detected the three missiles being launched from inside North Korea on Saturday morning. The missiles traveled around 220 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan. The demonstrated range of those missiles indicates they could have reached the South Korean capital of Seoul.
The report described the tests as a “grave provocation” that undermines international peace and pledged that South Korea maintains a defensive readiness to “overwhelmingly” respond to North Korean attacks or provocations.
Tensions on the peninsula rose over the last week, as South Korea accused North Korea of sending five unmanned drone aircraft across the demilitarized zone between the two countries into the South’s airspace. The South Korean military responded to the incursion by deploying its own drones into the North’s airspace.