The Korea Herald


N. Korea says 'no end' to bolstering military power ahead of key anniversary

By Yonhap

Published : July 24, 2023 - 09:57

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Firing of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, July 13. (KCNA) Firing of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, July 13. (KCNA)

North Korea said Monday that there is "no end" to strengthening its military power in an apparent attempt to justify the development of its nuclear and missile programs ahead of a key anniversary this week.

The recalcitrant regime has been ramping up sharp-tongued rhetoric and launching missiles ahead of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War on July 27, celebrated as Victory Day in North Korea.

"There can be no end to strengthening military power," Rodong Sinmun, the country's main newspaper, said in its editorial, stressing that such a goal should be carried out more swiftly and in a ceaseless manner "at any cost."

"Eternal peace lies atop of self-defense power that can overwhelmingly prevail against any enemy," it said, claiming that such power is a prerequisite to remove any risk of war on the Korean Peninsula.

In what appears to be an attempt to justify its faltering economy, North Korea also said a nuclear war could have broken out had it not focused on developing its nuclear and missile programs.

"Had our nation and people concentrated on economic development like others, a nuclear war that would have brought about a bigger catastrophe compared with all the wars in history would have broken out dozens of times and today's civilized world would not have existed," it said.

The North has been grappling with chronic food shortage and lackluster economic development, worsened by global sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs and a self-imposed border lockdown following the pandemic.

Observers said the North may seek to shore up internal unity in a possible large-scale military parade marking Victory Day following a failed satellite launch in late May and continuing economic hardships. (Yonhap)