North Korea’s top governing body warned Thursday that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of UN punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the US.
The National Defence Commission, headed by the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, rejected Tuesday’s UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s long-range rocket launch in December as a banned missile activity and expanding sanctions against the regime.
The commission reaffirmed in its declaration that the launch was a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space, but also said the country’s rocket launches have a military purpose: to strike and attack the United States.
The commission pledged to keep launching satellites and rockets and to conduct a nuclear test as part of a “new phase” of combat with the US, which it blames for leading the UN bid to punish Pyongyang. It said a nuclear test was part of “upcoming” action but did not say exactly when or where it would take place.
“We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-US struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the US, the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the commission said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“Settling accounts with the US needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival,” the commission said.
It was a rare declaration by the powerful military commission once led by late leader Kim Jong Il and now commanded by his son, Kim Jong Un.