Kim Jong Un vows nuclear might in elaborate ballistic missile parade

By Kim Tong-Hyung*

Impeached  U.S. President Donald Trump, left, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the North Korean side of the border at the village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone. A senior North Korean diplomat on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, says North Korea and the United States have agreed to resume nuclear negotiations on Oct. 5 following a months-long stalemate over withdrawal of sanctions in exchange for disarmament. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Seoul: North Korea rolled out developmental ballistic missiles designed to be launched from submarines and other military hardware in a parade that punctuated leader Kim Jong Un’s defiant calls to expand his nuclear weapons program.

State media said Kim took centre stage in Thursday night’s parade celebrating a major ruling party meeting where Kim vowed maximum efforts to bolster his nuclear and missile program that threatens Asian rivals and the American homeland to counter what he described as US hostility.

During the eight-day Workers’ Party congress that ended Tuesday, Kim also revealed plans to salvage the nation’s economy amid US-led sanctions over his nuclear ambitions, pandemic-related border closures and natural disasters that wiped out crops.

The economic setbacks have left Kim nothing to show for his ambitious diplomacy with President Donald Trump, which derailed over disagreements in exchanging sanctions relief and the North’s denuclearising steps, and pushed Kim to what is clearly the toughest moment of his nine-year rule.

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