“Our armed forces are thoroughly prepared to respond to any crisis, and our nation’s nuclear war deterrence is also fully ready to mobilise its absolute strength faithfully, accurately and promptly to its mission,” Mr Kim said.
He added: “I once again make it clear that North Korea is fully ready for any military confrontation with the United States”.
North Korea’s confrontation with the US staged serious nuclear threats for the east Asian nation since the 1950-53 war, prompting his nation to achieve an “urgent historical task” of amping up artillery for self-defence, the North Korean state leader said in his address to war veterans.
Mr Kim was speaking at the 69th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on 27 July marking Pyongyang’s “victory” over Seoul and Washington in the battle, a historical event between North and South marking the start of degrading ties leading to a war till date between the two countries, the state report by Korean Central News Agency added.
This comes shortly after officials in Washington said that Pyongyang has completed preparations to carry out its first nuclear test since 2017.
South Korean officials on Tuesday had claimed that there was a “possibility” that North Korea could carry out a test around the time of the critical anniversary of the armistice.
He slammed Washington for continuing “dangerous, illegal hostile acts” with South Korea against Pyongyang, and attempting to justify its behaviour by “demonising” the country, the hermit kingdom’s leader said.
“The duplex act of the United States, which is misleading all the routine actions of our armed forces as ‘provocation’ and ‘threat’ while holding large-scale joint military exercises that seriously threaten our security, is literally a robbery,” Mr Kim said.
The North Korean leader alleged that this is driving bilateral relations to the point “where it is difficult to turn back, into a state of conflict.”
Mr Kim also accused neighbour South Korea of driving both the peninsular nations — with backing from the US — towards the brink of war, as he attacked Seoul’s new state leader.
Calling the South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol by his first name and accusing his administration is run by thugs and warmongers, Mr Kim said that the current dispensation in Seoul has gone further than the previous conservative governments.
He slammed South Korea for threatening North Korea’s security and right to self-defence.
“Talking about military action against our nation, which possesses absolute weapons that they fear the most, is preposterous and is very dangerous suicidal action,” Mr Kim said.
“Warmongers” and “disgusting thugs” in Mr Yoon’s administration are bent on confrontational military activities, the North Korean leader said in his address, as he pointed to the neighbouring country’s weapons developments and moves to include US nuclear strategic assets as well as allied military drills.
He warned that “such a dangerous attempt will be immediately punished by our powerful strength and the Yoon Suk Yeol government and his military will be annihilated,” if South dares to attack North “militarily and preemptively neutralise or destroy part of our military power”.
The “heinous confrontational policy” and “toadyish, treacherous acts” by South towards North are bringing both the nations on the edge of war, he said.
Inducted in May, the Yoon administration has bolstered South Korea’s military alliance and joined hands with the US and Japan to present a defiant front to North Korea’s nuclear threats.
In more than a year, Pyongyang has ramped up its missile test, launching hypersonic missiles to ballistic in a row, warning that it could carry tactical nuclear weapons.
South Korean defence ministry said that the country has been boosting its military strength and joint defence posture with the US amid rising nuclear threats from the North, Moon Hong-sik, a deputy spokesperson said on Thursday.