Nothing is going well between North Korea and the United States.

Kim Jong Un, who is preparing for "a long-term confrontation" with the Americans, threatened Thursday to resume long-range nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Pyongyang has not carried out this kind of military maneuver since 2017. At that time, Kim Jong Un favored dialogue with the United States, notably meeting US President Donald Trump three times.

But the peaceful path seems buried since 2019 and the failure of the summit in Hanoi between the two leaders.

Negotiations have since stalled and North Korea, which has nuclear weapons, has rejected all offers of talks.

The country has also resumed its tests, in particular of hypersonic missiles.

US sanctions as a trigger

The United States last week imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang, which has launched several launches since early January 2022, including two tactical guided missiles.

"The hostile policy and military threat of the United States has reached a dangerous threshold that can no longer be ignored," North Korea's official KCNA news agency reported Thursday as an explanation.

For this reason, the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party “ordered (…) to quickly examine the question of a resumption” of all the activities which are the subject of a moratorium.

The reaction of the decisive Biden administration

"After this announcement, it seems inevitable that Pyongyang will carry out ICBM launches in the near future," said Hong Min of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.

Ankit Panda, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, believes that while nuclear testing seems unlikely, "long-range missile testing will be back."

Kim Jong Un "reiterates the message he sent at the end of 2019: the American attitude gives him no reason to adhere to the moratorium he imposed on himself" in 2018, analyzes the expert.

“The latest round of sanctions unfortunately seems to have rushed this step.”

Rachel Minyoung Lee of the Stimson Center think tank, however, believes that "Pyongyang could leave some leeway, depending on how the Biden administration reacts."

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  • United States

  • Armament

  • Nuclear tests

  • Weapons

  • World

  • North Korea

  • Nuclear

  • kim jong un

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