Sunday, April 15, 2012

North Korea's Kim Jong Un defies 'enemies' in first speech

North Korea won’t be bullied by its nuclear-armed enemies, third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un said in his first public address at a military parade on Sunday as South Korea warned that his regime may conduct an atomic test.

Dressed in a dark Mao suit and standing on a podium high above Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, the new leader said, “The days of enemies threatening and blackmailing us with nuclear weapons are forever over.”

Goose-stepping soldiers, mobile rocket launchers and tanks rumbled through the streets below in a celebration broadcast on state television.

North Korea’s humiliation after a long-range rocket that disintegrated within minutes of liftoff on Friday increases the chance of Kim ordering an atomic test to regain face, South Korean Deputy Defence Minister Lim Kwan Bin said. The launch also ended a U.S. food-aid deal.

“Kim is very aware of how powerful the military is and knows his only strategy is to keep selling the ‘military-first’ policy,” said Koh Yu Hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul’s Dongguk University. “Stability is what the young Kim needs most and he needs the full support of the military.” Read More