North Korea vows to “automatically and immediately” launch nuclear weapons if Kim Jong Un kills
North Korea has vowed to “automatically and immediately” launch its nuclear weapons if the country’s leader Kim Jong Un is killed or incapacitated in an attack, under a new law.
The legislation, which quickly passed the country’s parliament, also gives the country’s leaders the right to use nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive strike if the dictatorship feels an attack by foreign powers is imminent.
“The nuclear position of [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is guaranteed by a credible, effective and mature policy of nuclear deterrence, a defensive and responsible policy of nuclear forces and a flexible and targeted strategy for the use of nuclear weapons capable of actively dealing with any existing and developing nuclear threats in the future,” the law states .
North Korea spent decades pursuing nuclear weapons before successfully testing its first bomb in 2006. The country’s leaders see it as an essential form of deterrence against foreign interference.
Although the United States remains committed to the denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula, Kim said the problem is a non-starter.
“(We) will never give up nuclear weapons, and there is absolutely no denuclearization, no negotiations, no bargaining chips in the process,” he told North Korean media on Friday.
The new law potentially increases the risk of conflict on the continent, experts say.
“It raises serious questions about the North’s ability to get accurate intelligence and what the threshold of evidence will be to make those judgments,” Jenny Towne, senior fellow and director of the 38 North program at the Stimson Center, told Politico.
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