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North Korea passed new legislation in recent days asserting the country’s status as a nuclear state, with leader Kim Jong Un announcing that the country would never abandon its nuclear weapons, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The new law – approved by the country’s rubber-stamp parliament – would allow North Korea to launch pre-emptive nuclear strikes if there was concern over an imminent attack. The bill also bans the sharing of nuclear technology and said North Korea will not threaten non-nuclear states unless they join a nuclear power in attacking Pyongyang.
North Korea has become more vocal in its threats toward the US and its allies – including neighboring South Korea – in recent months.
Kim has criticized the US and South Korea for their recent large-scale military drills, calling them dangerous moves that exacerbate tensions. He has also accused the US of seeking to topple his regime by attempting to remove Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.
The isolated nation has finished preparations to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017, according to officials in Seoul and Washington.
Meanwhile, South Korea and the US have offered to hold talks with Pyongyang, but it has not responded.