Despite a new set of sanctions from the United Nations, North Korea’s assertive leader, Kim Jong Un, continues to push forward with his nuclear program.
North Korea’s state-run Korea Central News Agency has reported that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has claimed to have obtained technology that will allow them to fit miniature nuclear warheads on long-range ballistic missiles.
The news is the most recent chapter out of the North Korean nuclear narrative that dates back to this past January: the country’s authoritarian leader claimed to have successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb on January 6 and followed it up with reports of a long-range missile test in February of this year.
The agency’s report claims that the North Korean leader met with nuclear scientists and engineers, who briefed him on such research that would allow strategic ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads, which he then announced as a “tremendous” achievement for the North.
“The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles by miniaturizing them,” KCNA reported Jong Un stating to the scientists on hand. “This can be called a true nuclear deterrent… Koreans can do anything if they have a will.”
Reuters has reported that the secretive state’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is backing up his speculative nuclear activity by alerting his military to be prepped to mount preemptive attacks against the United States and neighboring South Korea, who have begun large-scale military drills this week in response to the North’s persistent march to expand its nuclear program despite UN sanctions.
Last week, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that imposed new sanctions, along with tightening existing measures against North Korea, in response to its ongoing nuclear activities that “threaten international peace and security.”
The new measures impose a ban on all exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore, and rare earth metals, along with banning the supply of all types of aviation fuel, including rocket fuel. It also calls for inspections of all goods going into or coming from the country, along with a total embargo on all arms sales to it.
It’s noteworthy to mention that a recent U.N. panel established to monitor the sanctions against North Korea released a report on Tuesday stating it had “serious questions about the efficacy of the current United Nations sanctions regime.”
The panel confirmed that North Korea has been able to effectively evade existing sanctions through its continual engagement in illegal trade, “facilitated by the low level of implementation of Security Council resolutions by Member States. “
“The reasons are diverse, but include lack of political will, inadequate enabling legislation, lack of understanding of the resolutions and low prioritization,” it said, referring to the incomplete enforcement of sanctions.
But the U.N. isn’t the only one cracking down on Kim Jong Un and the North. South Korea has also announced stricter measures against its northern neighbor by blacklisting individuals and entities it believes have ties to Pyongyang’s weapon program, while China — North Korea’s biggest trading partner — barred one of the 31 blacklisted North Korean ships from entering its northeastern port a few days ago.
China, South Korea step up sanctions on North Korea https://t.co/QfLMhnYe4p— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 8, 2016
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)