Kim made the comments as he stood against a backdrop of missiles at the Defense Development Exhibition to mark the 76th anniversary of North Korean Workers’ Party.
“The US has been frequently sending signals that they are not hostile towards our country, but there is no single evidence that they are not hostile,” said Kim, as he accused the US of causing instability in the Korean Peninsula.
South Korean military said after the launch the missile appears to be in early development and it would take considerable time for it to be deployed.
Jeffrey Lewis, a professor and nuclear weapons expert at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies, said the exhibition focused on “the vast array of new missiles developed over the past five years” in North Korea.
“The exhibition prominently features a gigantic missile that North Korea displayed in a parade last year and is likely intended to carry multiple nuclear warheads,” he said. “It is both a display of past achievements, as well as a warning of what’s to come.”
Describing the missiles as “our precious (weapons),” Kim said every country should maintain strong military power even in peaceful times, as self-defense capability is the “root of a nation’s existence and security for development,” KCNA reported.
He blamed the US for “raising tensions in the region with its wrong decision-making” and accused Washington of being antagonistic toward North Korea.
Kim also said South Korea’s “hypocritical attitude” of building up its own arms while “shackling (North Korea) with the unlawful and ruthless UN resolution and the tacit protection of the US,” was harming the emotional sentiment between the Koreas.
Pyongyang is barred from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons under international law. Previous tests have been met with international opprobrium and sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.
“We express our deepest regret for the reckless ambition of South Korea and its double-standard, illogical, and robbery-like attitude promoting unfairness toward the other side,” Kim added, referring to the South’s latest weapon developments.
The North Korean leader said the country’s “main enemy is the war itself,” not South Korea or the US.
But he warned North Korea will not tolerate any further attempts to undermine its right to self-defense.
“As long as South Korea does not risk us and does not interrupt the exercise of our sovereignty, I assure you, there will be no tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” Kim said.