Jan 20, 2022 09:43 UTC
  • North Korea to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests

North Korea says it may consider resuming “all temporarily suspended” nuclear and long-range weapons tests to boost its defenses against Washington’s “military threats,” amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and renewed US sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea's official news agency KCNA reported on Thursday that the decision was made after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened a meeting of the powerful politburo of the ruling Workers' Party a day earlier to discuss countermeasures to US's “hostile policy” against the country.

“The hostile policy and military threats of the United States have reached a danger line that cannot be overlooked anymore,” it said, acknowledging the need to “make more thorough preparation for a long-term confrontation with the US imperialists.”

Kim instructed officials to bolster ways to "efficiently control the hostile moves of the US" and reconsider “trust-building measures” that the country has taken on its own initiative as well as a re-examination of whether to restart “all temporally-suspended activities.”

The decision is a possible reference to Pyongyang’s self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear warheads and long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which has been in place since 2017.

North Korea's warning came hours before the United Nations Security Council was due to convene a closed-door meeting to discuss the recent missile tests, at the request of the United States and several other countries.

North Korea has ramped up its missile tests during the month of January. On Monday, it reportedly carried out a new weapons test, firing two "unidentified projectiles" into the sea off its eastern coast.

In response to Pyongyang's new missile test, the United States last week imposed new sanctions on the country, which Pyongyang described as an act of "provocation." Washington also called on the United Nations Security Council to blacklist several North Korean individuals and entities.

The North has defended its latest missile tests as a legitimate right to self-defense.