In 2016, the country has carried out more than 20 missile tests, two of them with nuclear warheads. According to experts in 2017 "right time" to complete the nuclear arsenal.
Pyongyang (AsiaNews) - "We are in the final stages of preparing a test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)": stated the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un on the national television network in a statement for the beginning of the year. During his greeting speech, Kim also said that "the country is engaged constantly in research and development of advanced weapons ..."
The North Korean leader also pushed the United States to abolish their "anachronistic hostile policy" towards Pyongyang. For years, North Korea has been subject to heavy sanctions imposed by the United Nations because of its nuclear program and missile tests beyond any international rule. Nevertheless, in 2016, North Korea has carried out more than 20 missile tests, two of them with nuclear warheads. The efforts of Pyongyang, aimed at miniaturizing and diversifying its missile arsenal, also have the goal of developing a type of atomic long-range missile capable of traveling thousands of kilometers.
Thae Yong-ho is a North Korean diplomat who last July fled to South Korea. He believes that 2017 is the "right time" for North Korea to carry out its own nuclear arsenal. Thae also believes that Seoul and Washington will no longer be able to oppose the nuclear aspirations of Pyongyang because of their internal political situations.
During the speech, Kim Jong-un also accused South Korea of being responsible for the intensification of relations between the two countries and said that the use of defensive weapons is not the proper way to prevent military conflicts and heal relationships between the two governments. South Korea is implementing an anti-missile defense system (Thaad) in collaboration with the United States.