Joe Biden discusses North Korea threat during debate
North Korea’s Supreme Leader and his government have vowed to increase their nuclear military capabilities in the coming months and claimed no matter who is in power in the US will always be their “biggest enemy”. This comes days before Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated as the new US President.
Over the weekend, Kim assumed the title of general secretary of the Korean Worker’s Party and during his speech, he said his country should be “redirected on subduing” the US.
North Korean state media quoted the supreme leader as saying: “Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing the US, our biggest enemy and main obstacle to our innovated development.
“No matter who is in power in the US, the true nature of the US and its fundamental policies towards North Korea never change.”
He also promised to pursue closer ties with “anti-imperialist, independent forces” and vowed to increase Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities.
Kim Jong-un breaks silence with direct threat to US
President-elect Joe Biden
Back in 2018, Kim and the outgoing US President Donald Trump met in Singapore to discuss denuclearisation.
The first summit resulted in both sides agreeing to “establish new US-DPRK relations” and to “work toward the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.
But nothing concrete was finalised and their second summit was cut short after Kim requested an end to all sanctions.
But following Mr Trump’s election defeat, President-elect Biden has already been warned by the Supreme leader.
READ MORE: North Korea threatens Biden into scrapping nuclear weapon sanctions
Outgoing US President Donald Trump
Mr Biden has criticised Kim in public and referred to him as a “thug” while he also attacked Mr Trump’s “bromance” diplomacy with the North Korean leader.
Dennis Halpin, former principal advisor to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Asia-Pacific issues, warned Mr Biden “will demand concrete steps from Pyongyang before going forward in diplomatic negotiations”.
Soo Kim, of the RAND Corporation, added Kim will use the Biden administration to “reinforce his strategic line”.
She said: “Kim likely views the new year and a new US administration as an opportunity to reinforce his strategic line – and perhaps test the resolve of the new US presidency.
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North Korea military power
“So I would say that the call for diplomacy at the party congress is the first of many baits from Pyongyang to test the waters with Washington and Seoul.”
While Robert Winstanley-Chesters, of the University of Leeds, said North Korea “wants to be taken seriously”.
He said: “What North Korea ultimately wants is to be taken seriously as a legitimate, viable state with a place at the world table, and to have its security and continued existence and sovereignty guaranteed.
“Pyongyang ultimately sees the United States as the guarantor of that security and so would like to achieve that on equal terms, and not to involve South Korea in whatever deal that might involve.”
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump
Much like his father, experts have said Kim could face the same conundrum as his father and could lean heavily on China.
Joseph Detrani, the former US special envoy for nuclear talks with North Korea, said North Korea’s ties with Beijing reflect the fact “China is North Korea’s major trading partner and its economic safety net, with China providing the North with… the crude oil and petroleum products needed for its economy to function”.
He told RFA: “As North Korea deals with a Biden administration, they know China will continue to be supportive, highlighting the importance of China playing a role in efforts to resolve the nuclear issue with North Korea.”
Harry Kazianis, the Centre for the National Interest’s direct for Korean Studies, warned due to North Korea’s “deep state of crisis”, China will provide “immediate help for Kim”.
North Korea’s Supreme leader Kim Jong-un
Last year, relations between Washington and Beijing escalated following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and increased military presence in the South China Sea region.
Back in October, China’s President Xi Jinping warned the Communist nation was ready to “fight war with war”.
During his speech to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, President Xi lashed out at the “invincibility” of the US army and claimed Chinese and Korean troops “defeated their opponents”.
He said: “After arduous battles, Chinese and (North) Korean troops, armed to their teeth, defeated their opponents, shattering the myth of the invincibility of the US military, and forcing the invaders to sign the armistice agreement on July 27, 1953.”