Kim’s comments came during the second day of the ruling Workers Party Congress (WPK), where he appeared to be consolidating his grip on power. The congress announced the would be bestowing their top title on Kim, although is already the undisputed leader of the party and the country.
As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our Republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes, the state-run news agency, KCNA, quoted Kim as saying.
After North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and subsequently launched a long range rocket into space, both in defiance of past United Nations Security Council resolutions, the council passed renewed, and tougher, sanctions against the rogue state.
Even China, North Korea’s closest ally, expressed exasperation with the North’s insolent behavior, and backed the Security Council’s new sanctions regime.
Continuing nuclear program
North Korea responded by continuing its nuclear and missile development activities. And they claimed to have succeeded in reducing the size of a nuclear warhead and launching a submarine-based ballistic missile.
The North Korean leader added that his country would continue to build and launch satellites, which the United States and South Korea view as a disguised test for long-range missiles.
In his statement, Kim went on to say that his country wanted to reduce tensions with its enemies, chiefly South Korea and the US, although he did not identify them by name.
But he called on the Western allies to respect the sovereignty of the DPRK, using the abbreviation for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
“The WPK and the DPRK government will improve and normalize the relations with those countries which respect the sovereignty of the DPRK and are friendly towards it, though they had been hostile toward it in the past,”
His proposal is likely to get a chilly response in both Washington and Seoul where leaders have repeatedly called on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program as a precondition for peace talks.
Officials in Washington and Seoul say it appears that the North is preparing another nuclear test.
The two Koreas fought a bloody civil war in the early 1950s that ended with an armistice in 1953. But the two sides never signed a peace agreement so, technically, the two sides remain in a state of war.