Washington and Seoul agreed in April to establish the Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) to discuss nuclear and strategic planning between the allies and strengthen the credibility of the US extended deterrence commitment to defending South Korea with all of its military capabilities, including nuclear weapons, North Korea’s Defense Minister Kang Sun Nam said in a statement released by state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
He denounced that, in this context, the nuclear submarine USS Kentucky, one of the largest ballistic missile carriers in the world, docked at the Busan operational base, an act that he described as “the most open and direct nuclear threat (against DPRK) in more than 40 years.
This, he added, shows that Washington’s scenario for a nuclear attack upon Pyongyang and “its implementation have entered the most critical stage of visualization and systemization and the phase of a military clash on the Korean Peninsula has surfaced as a dangerous reality beyond all sorts of imagination and presumption.”
Kang Sun Nam warned that the complex situation leads Pyongyang to rethink its response options and “makes the mission of our nuclear weapons clearer.”
The armed forces of the DPRK (…) will responsibly fulfill their all-important mission of defending sovereignty, territorial integrity and fundamental interests of the state, Kang Sun Nam stressed.
Days before the arrival of the USS Kentucky in South Korea, North Korea’s Defense Minister called the decision “open nuclear blackmail against DPRK and neighboring states and a threat to peace and security in the region and around the globe.”