Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - North Korea’s Kim: US ‘root cause’ of tensions



North Korea’s Kim: US ‘root cause’ of tensions

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes have made rapid progress under leader Kim Jong-un. KCNA

North Korea’s Kim: US ‘root cause’ of tensions

The leader of nuclear-armed North Korea, Kim Jong-un, has blamed the US for tensions on the peninsula, state media reported on October 12.

The US is the “root cause” of instability, he said in an opening speech at a defence exhibition, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Pyongyang is under multiple international sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, which have made rapid progress under Kim.

In 2017 it tested missiles that can reach the whole of the continental US and carried out by far its most powerful nuclear explosion to date, and Pyongyang says it needs its arsenal to protect itself against a US invasion.

The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that it has no hostile intent towards the North, but Kim told the “Self-Defence 2021” exhibition: “I am very curious if there are people or countries who believe that.”

“There is no basis in their actions for believing that it is not hostile,” he added, according to KCNA.

Kim’s address came after the North in recent weeks tested a long-range cruise missile and what it said was a hypersonic weapon.

In 2018, Kim became the first North Korean leader ever to meet a sitting US president at the headline-grabbing Singapore summit.

But the talks process has been largely at a standstill since a second meeting in Hanoi the following year collapsed over sanctions relief and what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in return.

The Biden administration has said it is willing to meet North Korean officials at any time or place, without preconditions, in its efforts to seek denuclearisation.

Washington and Seoul are security allies and Washington stations around 28,500 troops in the South to defend it against its neighbour, which invaded in 1950.

The South and the US held joint military exercises in August. The wargames always infuriate Pyongyang, which decries them as preparations for invasion.

The South has been stepping up its own military capabilities, successfully testing its first submarine-launched ballistic missile last month and revealing a supersonic cruise missile.

Kim accused the South of hypocrisy, saying their “unrestricted and dangerous attempts to strengthen military power are destroying the military balance on the Korean peninsula and increasing military instability and danger”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • Two major S’ville events could jumpstart international tourism: insiders

    Preah Sihanouk province is set to host two major international tourism-related events in late 2021 and early 2022, which insiders expect to ignite new interest among new and repeat foreign holidaymakers into visiting the Kingdom and significantly raise tourist arrivals from near zero in the Covid era.