North Koreans cheer missile launch in bizarre propaganda film
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North Korea launched three missiles today, including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile. All three of the warheads were fired from the capital Pyongyang, South Korean officials said. A statement from the South Korean government read: “North Korea’s sustained provocations can only result in stronger and faster South Korea-U.S. combined deterrence and can only deepen North Korea’s international isolation. “(Our) government is maintaining constant readiness to strongly and effectively respond to any kind of North Korean provocation.”
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has repeatedly threatened the West with talk of nuclear weapons during his ten years in power, his allies also having made similar claims.
In 2017, a man who has been descibred as representing North Korea on the international stage claimed that North Korea could destroy the entire world with just “three or four” thermonuclear bombs.
Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spaniard who says he is a “special delegate” of the regime in Pyongyang added: “No one will touch North Korea—if they touch it the people will defend it with guns and missiles.”
During his interview with Argentine website Infobae, he also said: “Korea is perfectly prepared with nuclear and thermonuclear weapons. We have the H-bomb.”
Mr Cao de Benos said that while the US “has many more missiles than Korea”, it was “not a question of quantity but of the potency of the detonation”.
He added: “One thermonuclear bomb is 100 times more powerful than a nuclear one.
“Three or four of those is sufficient to end the entire world.”
This year has been a busy one for North Korea, the country already having carried out 13 tests.
This week’s tests come just two days after US President Joe Biden said he would be willing to talk to Kim so long as he is willing to engage.
Mr Biden ended a three-day trip to South Korea last week after meeting the newly elected President Yoon, the pair discussing the nuclear threat posed by Kim.
Asked if he would meet the dictator, Mr Biden said “that would depend on whether he was sincere and whether he was serious”.
He added: “We are prepared for anything North Korea does.”
Asked if he had a message for Kim, Biden said: “Hello … period.”
The US President said his country has offered coronavirus vaccines to North Korea, which has reported nearly 2.5 million cases of “fever”, with almost ten percent of its population taken ill.
He continued: “We’ve offered vaccines, not only to North Korea but to China as well. We’ve got no response.”
The COVID-19 situation in North Korea has intrigued observers of the country given Kim’s surprising comments last week after he described his country’s response to its first officially confirmed outbreak as “immature”.
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Kim also admitted his country was “in great turmoil”, and added: “The spread of the malignant epidemic is a great turmoil to fall on our country since the founding.
“But if we don’t lose focus in implementing epidemic policy and maintain strong organisation power … we can more than overcome the crisis.”
North Korea had previously insisted it had not recorded a single case of COVID-19 since it closed its borders at the start of the pandemic more than two years ago.
Pyongyang cut off trade with China which inflicted serious damage to its already ailing economy, which is subject to a number of sanctions imposed by various countries.
After maintaining one of the world’s strictest border closures to shield its poor healthcare system, North Korea eventually reopened railroad freight traffic with China in January.
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