North Korea is struggling with international sanctions imposed on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
North Korea has a “reliable and effective deterrent to self-defense” and is now focusing on developing its sanctions-affected economy, North Korea’s ambassador to North Korea said on Tuesday.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Kim said North Korea was still threatened by military equipment, such as stealth fighters used on the Korean Peninsula, and “nuclear strikes of any kind are aimed directly at the DPRK.”
“True peace can only be protected when one has the absolute power to prevent war itself,”
Already burdened by severe international sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Pyongyang is also facing significant economic damage from strict border closures and other measures aimed at preventing a coronavirus outbreak. It also struggles to cope with the damage from recent storms and floods.
Kim said the pandemic situation was “under safe and sound control” as a result of government measures to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. North Korea has said there are no confirmed cases, although some have questioned the claim.
“Based on its reliable guarantee for the protection of the security of the state and the people, the DPRK is now focusing all its efforts on economic development,” Kim said, using her country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The fact is that we desperately need an external environment conducive to economic construction,” he said. “But we cannot sell our dignity only in the hope of a brilliant transformation – a dignity we have defended as valuable as our own lives. This is our firm position. “
A UN report Monday said North Korea was violating nuclear sanctions by exceeding the 500,000-barrel limit on oil imports and continuing to send workers abroad.
Independent observers of the sanctions reported to the Security Council in August that North Korea was continuing its nuclear weapons program and several countries believed it had “probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit the warheads of its ballistic missiles.”
Jenny Town, an associate at the Stimson Center and deputy director of 38 North, said the envoy’s speech did not contain “obvious threats or hints of force or demonstrations of power in the near future.” He was very focused on recovery and rebuilding the internal situation. “
She added that while North Korea wants easing of sanctions, “they will not simply give up their weapons for promises of a brighter future” and that tangible steps will have to be taken to prove that relations with the United States have changed before Pyongyang succeeds in justifying measures that would jeopardize its security.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have met three times since 2018, but have made no progress on US calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and North Korea’s demands for an end to sanctions.
North Korea’s ruling party is planning a congress in January to decide on a new five-year plan, state media reported last month after a party meeting marked significant delays in improving the national economy and living standards.