April 26, 2022

North Korea pledges to strengthen nuclear forces at military parade

Featuring Dr. Duyeon Kim

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Min Joo Kim

With his comments about the “mission” of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, the North Korean leader is “threatening that his nuclear weapons can be used for offensive purposes and not just for defense or retaliation,” said Duyeon Kim, a Seoul-based North Korea expert at the Center for a New American Security. “The most notable and concerning point in his comment is that the threshold for nuclear use seems extremely low.”

She said Kim’s remarks on violation of “fundamental interest of our state” appears to imply a wide and ambiguous range of circumstances under which Pyongyang would use a nuclear weapon first.

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Analysts said that with Washington preoccupied with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea may see an opportunity to advance its weapons program, which is restricted by U.S.-led international sanctions.

“Russia’s invasion might reinforce Kim [Jong Un] and his predecessors’ belief that only nuclear weapons can protect his country from being invaded and cause nuclear enemies to hesitate,” said Duyeon Kim, the North Korea expert.

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.

Authors

  • Dr. Duyeon Kim

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Duyeon Kim, PhD, is an adjunct senior fellow with the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. Her expertise includes the two Koreas, nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, Eas...