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North Korea passes law authorizing ‘automatic’ nuclear strikes

North Korea has passed a law authorizing the launch of “automatic” attacks with nuclear weapons and declaring the country’s status as a nuclear power “irreversible”, state media reported today.

“If the command and control system of the national nuclear force is at risk of being attacked by hostile forces, a nuclear attack is carried out automatically and immediately,” reads the law, quoted by KCNA.

According to the North Korean official news agency, if Pyongyang’s leadership, including Kim Jong Un, were in danger, a nuclear counterattack would be launched, regardless of the type of attack suffered.

The law was passed in a session of the country’s parliament on Thursday, during which the North Korean leader assured that Pyongyang will never abandon its nuclear arsenal or give in to international sanctions against its weapons program, not even “in hundreds of years”. years old”.

“This is interpreted for the purpose of underlining to the international community that North Korea is a ‘de facto’ nuclear-weapon state,” Kim Jong Un said.

The leader defended that nuclear weapons are necessary to combat hostility from the United States, a country he accused of organizing a pressure campaign whose “ultimate objective” is to overthrow the North Korean government.

Diplomatic contacts between Washington and Pyongyang have been frozen since 2019 due to disagreements over the easing of international sanctions against North Korea and the eventual denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Kim Jong Un also criticized neighboring South Korea’s plans to expand its conventional strike capabilities and resume large-scale military exercises with the United States, describing it as “dangerous” military action that heightens tensions.

Kim has carried out weapons tests at a record pace this year, launching more than 30 ballistic missiles, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrations since 2017.

North Korea has kept its borders closed since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020 and has since rejected offers for dialogue made by Seoul and Washington.

In 2021, the North Korean regime approved a five-year weapons modernization plan, which appears to be behind preparations for a new nuclear test, detected by satellite images this year.

Kim Jong Un also revealed that North Korea will start in November vaccinating the population of 26 million against covid-19, without revealing how many doses the country has and how they were obtained.

GAVI, the nonprofit that manages the UN-backed COVAX distribution program, said in June that North Korea had accepted an offer of vaccines from China.

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