North Korea’s Kim Jong-un threatens to use nuclear weapons amid tensions with US, South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned he is ready to use his nuclear weapons in potential military conflicts with the United States and South Korea, state media said on Thursday, as he unleashed fiery rhetoric against rivals he says are pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of war.

Kim’s speech to war veterans on the 69th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean war were apparently meant to boost internal unity in the impoverished country suffering pandemic-related economic difficulties.

North Korea is likely to intensify its threats against the United States and South Korea as the allies prepare to expand summertime exercises the North views as an invasion rehearsal, some observers say.

“Our armed forces are completely prepared to respond to any crisis, and our country’s nuclear war deterrent is also ready to mobilise its absolute power dutifully, exactly and swiftly in accordance with its mission,” Kim said in Wednesday’s speech, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

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