North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he’s ready to fight US, ‘eliminate’ South Korea

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to “eliminate” South Korea, saying he was ready for any battle with the US in a speech marking the 69th anniversary of the deal that ended fighting in the Korean War.
Kim, who made his first public appearance in nearly three weeks, carried out one of his strongest rhetorical attacks on South Korea since conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol took office in May, pledging to take a hard line toward Pyongyang. . The North Korean leader said “US imperialists are pushing South Korean authorities into a suicide showdown” with his nation, the official Korean central news agency reported Thursday.
“The South Korean regime and its military villains are devising tactics to confront us militarily,” Kim said. “Such a dangerous attempt will be immediately punished by our mighty power, and the Yun Suk Yeol regime and its army will be eliminated.”
Kim has stepped up his provocations this year as US attention has been diverted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by firing a record number of ballistic missiles and showing signs it could conduct its first nuclear test since 2017. The fiery speech serves as a reminder to President Joe Biden of Pyongyang’s pressing security concerns.
The speech marked the July 27 signing of the ceasefire agreement between the US-led armed forces of the United Nations, North Korea and China that brought a ceasefire in the 1950-1953 Korean War. Even though it ended in a stalemate, North Korea celebrates the day as a ‘Victory in the Homeland’.
US pressure to isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, coupled with growing hostility towards China, has allowed Kim to bolster his nuclear deterrent without fearing more sanctions at the UN Security Council. There is almost no chance that Russia or China, who have veto power in the council, would support measures against North Korea, as they did in 2017 after a series of weapons tests that led former President Donald Trump to warn of “fire and fury” .
Kim often disappears from the public eye in the summer for a stay at his coastal home and mega yacht. But any extended absences raise questions about the health of the 38-year-old, whose longest time without a public appearance as leader in 2014 was six weeks. His last appearance in the state media came on July 9 when he appeared in a photo. session with ruling party executives.

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