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North Korea is Ready to Mobilise its Nuclear War Deterrent

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country is ready to mobilise its nuclear war deterrent and for any military clash with the United States, state media reported on Thursday, amid signs the North could conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

Kim made the remarks during a speech at an event to mark the 69th anniversary of the July 27 Korean War armistice, which left the two Koreas technically still at war, according to the official KCNA news agency.

The confrontation with the United States posed nuclear threats since the conflict required the North to achieve an “urgent historical task” of beefing up its self defence, Kim said.

“Our armed forces are thoroughly prepared to respond to any crisis, and our nation’s nuclear war deterrence is also fully ready to mobilise its absolute strength faithfully, accurately and promptly to its mission,” he said.

The speech came after Seoul and Washington officials said Pyongyang has completed preparations to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

South Korea’s unification minister handling inter-Korean affairs said on Tuesday there was a “possibility” of the test in time for the anniversary, though a military official said there were no immediate signs for it.

North Korea is likely to face stronger sanctions including measures aimed at curbing its cyberattack capabilities if it goes ahead with the test, South Korea’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

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