North Koreans gathered for a mass rally in Pyongyang, Sunday, January 5, to show support for Kim Jong Un’s announcement at the party meeting declaring an end to the banning of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and threatened a demonstration of a “new strategic weapon” soon.
The North Korean leader recently indicated the road to denuclearization has come to an end, but experts say he left a door open for diplomacy with the U.S. in his statements last Wednesday.
“Kim Jong Un’s speech suggests that the DPRK [North Korea] is no longer interested in holding out the possibility of even an illusory commitment to denuclearization,” said Evans Revere, a former State Department official during the George W. Bush administration, which also negotiated with North Korea.
Kim said, “If the U.S. persists in its hostile policy toward the DPRK, there will never be the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and the DPRK will steadily develop necessary and prerequisite strategic weapons for the security of the state.”
Revere said Kim’s stance on denuclearization was “the latest manifestation” of what North Korea has been saying for years.
Earlier in December, North Korea’s U.N. ambassador, Kim Song, said denuclearization was off the table. (VOA/AFP)