N. Korea Vows to Boost Nuclear-Strike Ability

Pyongyang says it will strengthen and develop nuclear capability, as long as it faces a hostile US policy
North Korea tested a longer-range missile last weekend (File Photo)North Korea tested a longer-range missile last weekend (File Photo)

At the United Nations, North Korea’s deputy ambassador, Kim In-ryong, said Pyongyang would never abandon its “nuclear deterrence for self-defense and preemptive strike capability” even if the US ratchets up sanctions and pressure “to the utmost”.

North Korea had vowed to rapidly strengthen its nuclear-strike capability as long as it faces a “hostile” US policy, Aljazeera reported.

North Korea tested a longer-range missile last weekend, which experts say was a significant advance for a weapons program that aims to build a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike America.

The test triggered a new US-backed push for a fresh round of UN sanctions against the North.

Speaking to reporters, Kim hailed the test launch and said that if the Trump administration wants peace on the divided Korean Peninsula, it should replace the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy.

All 15 members of the UN Security Council, the world organization’s most powerful body, this week called the launch a violation of existing sanctions and vowed to take new measures, including additional sanctions.

Asked about Beijing and Moscow’s support for the six previous rounds of UN sanctions, Kim said both countries are “close neighbors” who “understand our nuclear projection occurred through the US continued nuclear threat and its hostile policy” toward North Korea.

If the United States “persists in anti-DPRK sanctions without understanding its rival, the (Trump) administration will have to take full responsibility for the ensuing catastrophic consequences”, he warned.

“The US should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the US insists (on) its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure,” Kim said.

  North’s Unit 180

North Korea’s main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and Internet security experts.

North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries.

Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry “ransomware” cyber attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month. Pyongyang has called the allegation “ridiculous”.

Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004 and still has sources inside North Korea, said Pyongyang’s cyber attacks aimed at raising cash are likely organized by Unit 180, a part of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, its main overseas intelligence agency.

“Unit 180 is engaged in hacking financial institutions (by) breaching and withdrawing money out of bank accounts,” Kim told Reuters.

He had previously said that some of his former students have joined North Korea’s Strategic Cyber Command, its cyber-army.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints