North Korea has struck again in its nuclear-fueled war of words with the U.S., this time warning Washington that its latest military developments give supreme leader Kim Jong Un unprecedented clout amid the current crisis.
North Korea’s state-run media ran a series of articles on Friday threatening to meet any further U.S. military expansion in the region with an opposing show of force. After North Korea successfully tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), in July and conducted its first hydrogen bomb test earlier this month, it launched a second intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), over Japan on Friday. As President Donald Trump and allies continue to demand the total denuclearization of North Korea, Pyongyang struck back against talk of bringing back U.S. tactical nukes to the Korean Peninsula.
“The attempt of the U.S. to deploy tactical nuclear weapons into south Korea and develop up-to-date miniaturized nuclear bombs is targeted at its strategic rivals in the region as well as the DPRK, and it will increase the tension in the Korean Peninsula and the region and instigate intense arms race,” the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Institute of American Studies said in a statement, referring to the country by its official title: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The nuclear threat of the U.S. which is growing more vicious propels the DPRK to continuous development of all means of counterattack including tactical nuclear weapons to the highest level at a maximum speed and to faster deployment of these means ready for battle,” it added, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The U.S. once maintained an arsenal of about 100 tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush withdrew all nuclear assets stationed abroad, according to The Washington Post. This could change, however, as mounting tensions in the region reportedly compelled the South Korean…