North Korea says it will consider resuming nuclear and ICBM testing for the first time since 2018 when the regime declared a self-imposed moratorium on such activities.
In the first policymaking politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of the new year chaired by leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week, the North talked about the need to prepare measures for a “long-term confrontation” with the U.S., claiming Washington’s hostile policies against Pyeongyang are worsening by the day.
Those U.S. policies include conducting joint military drills and slapping on sanctions in the last few years after the 2018 North Korea-U.S. Singapore summit.
Experts point out certain dates for possible military activities.
"Considering the North has pledged to celebrate the birthday of the leader Kim Jong-un's late father Kim Jong-il and the 110th anniversary of the birth of the regime's founding leader Kim Il-sung, the regime may stage military activities as early as around February 16th and as late as April 15th."
But the expert also noted it's highly likely they will actively carry out their weapons development plan after the Beijing Winter Olympics.
But considering the North on Thursday said it's reconsidering the suspension of military activities, watchers note the latest announcement is part of an effort to push the U.S. to prioritize North Korea on the Biden administration's agenda.
Meaning, the current situation could depend on Washington's response.
"The Biden administration will not yield to North Korea, but it also doesn't want the situation to worsen because Washington has a lot on its plate from Ukraine to the Covid situation there. It will feel the pressure to stabilize the situation first."
Following Thursday's announcement, South Korea's unification ministry underlined that dialogue and diplomacy are the only way to a future of peace and said Seoul will closely work with related countries to prepare for the worst situation possible following the North's latest round of missile tests.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.