North Korea passes law authorizing preemptive nuclear strikes | World

North Korea passed a law authorizing the launch of nuclear attacks preventive and declared his “Irreversible” atomic weapons program, informed the state press this Friday (8). The announcement comes amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, where Pyongyang has carried out an unprecedented series of weapons tests this year and blamed Seoul for the Covid-19 outbreak in its territory.

the enacted text allows the North Korea launch preemptive nuclear strikes “automatically” and “immediately destroy hostile forces“If foreign action poses an imminent threat to Pyongyangthe official KCNA news agency said.

Furthermore, with the new law, “our country’s status as a nuclear-weapon state becomes irreversible,” leader Kim Jong-un said, according to the same source.

In July, Kim said the country was “prepared to mobilize” nuclear capabilities in an eventual war against the United States and South Korea. In addition, he reiterated that the country will never give up the necessary nuclear weapons to counteract the hostility of the United States, which, according to Kim, seeks the “collapse” of its power.

“There is absolutely no possibility of giving up nuclear weapons first. And there is no denuclearization or negotiation,” he insisted on Thursday during a speech in parliament, according to KCNA.

Tribute at the monument to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il — Photo: Kim Won Jin / AFP

The new law shows Kim’s confidence in the country’s military and nuclear capabilities, including intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting US territory, said Cheong Seong-chang of the North Korean Studies Center at the Sejong Institute.

The law “openly justifies Pyongyang’s use of nuclear power” in the event of military confrontation, including in response to non-atomic strikes, explains Cheong.

North Korea has carried out a series of military tests since January, including the first full-range intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017.

The United States and South Korea have repeatedly warned that Pyongyang is preparing what would be its seventh nuclear test.

Despite firmer stances towards Pyongyang, the new South Korean president, Yoon Suk-yeol, last month proposed a plan to help his northern neighbor in exchange for abandoning the nuclear program. But the communist regime rejected the proposal, claiming it was the “height of absurdity” and ruled out negotiating with Seoul.

For Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, the new law reaffirms Pyongyang’s stance that its nuclear program is no longer on the negotiating table.

“Pyongyang is likely to strengthen ties with China and Russia against Washington and carry out the seventh nuclear test soon,” the professor told AFP.

In late August, the US and South Korea staged the biggest joint military exercises since 2018 in the face of a growing nuclear threat from North Korea. Washington is a great ally of Seoul in the area of ​​security. Nearly 28,500 US troops are present in South Korea.

Vaccination against Covid-19

In addition to the nuclear issue, state media announced that North Korea will begin vaccinating its population against Covid-19 in November. This is the first time the country has officially announced a plan to immunize its population since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to news agency KCNA, leader Kim Jong-un has also recommended wearing masks starting in November. The country’s experts believe that levels of antibodies in the population, acquired from the outbreak of the disease reported in May, will begin to decline in October, Kim said.

KCNA information does not specify which vaccines will be used. But according to a South Korean think tank, Pyongyang last year rejected AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid vaccines that were part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax program, citing fears of side effects.

The official balance sheet of the North Korean regime registers only 74 deaths in the pandemic, a data that causes many doubts between scientists and the WHO.

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