Hindustantimes wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

North Korea's Kim Jong Un will 'probably' carry out new nuclear test: US

AFP | | Posted by Ritu Maria Johny
Mar 09, 2023 04:21 AM IST

Kim also is likely to continue firing nuclear-capable missiles in an effort "to normalize Pyongyang's missile testing," the 2023 Annual Threat Assessment report said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "probably" will test a nuclear device again in his drive to build a nuclear arsenal that he sees as "the ultimate guarantor" of his rule, a US intelligence report said Wednesday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the ruling Workers Party at its headquarters in Pyongyang, (AP)

Kim also is likely to continue firing nuclear-capable missiles in an effort "to normalize Pyongyang's missile testing," the 2023 Annual Threat Assessment report said.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, with each blast increasing in intensity. Its last nuclear test was in 2017.

"North Korea probably is preparing to test a nuclear device to further its stated military modernization goals," said the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"Kim almost certainly views nuclear weapons and ICBMs as the ultimate guarantor of his autocratic rule and has no intention of abandoning those programs, believing that over time he will gain international acceptance as a nuclear power," the report said.

Also read: US imposes fresh sanctions to restrict North Korea's revenues

North Korea funds its nuclear programs partly from the proceeds of criminal activity, including cryptocurrency theft, it said.

"In one heist in 2022, Pyongyang stole a record $625 million from a Singapore-based blockchain technology firm," it said.

In recent years, it has test-fired intercontinental and ballistic missiles at an increasingly brisk pace, firing more than 60 of them last year alone.

In the past six months, North Korea "timed its missile launches" to coincide with joint US-South Korea military exercises.

"Pyongyang probably wants the alliance to decrease the pace and scale of the exercises with the ultimate goal of undermining the strength" of US-South Korea defense ties, the report said.

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away! - Login Now! Get Latest World News along with Latest News from India at Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
OPEN APP