North Korea Vows to Bolster Nuke Capability

    Photo: KCNA/Reuters [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un vowed on Mon. to expand the country's nuclear arsenal as fast as possible, and threatened to use it if North Korea was provoked.

    • He spoke at the military parade marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army and showcased the country's most advanced weaponry, which included the Hwasong-17, an ICBM that could potentially strike the entire US mainland.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The military parade and Kim's speech are indicative of the North Korean leader's grand nuclear ambitions and are a testament to his personal instability. Kim seeks to recklessly show the world what North Korea is capable of - especially to a new and more hawkish leader in the South.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    North Korea has been pushed into a corner by the West. Pyongyang for years made a goodwill effort towards diplomacy with the West and denuclearization, but all it got in return was snubbed and strong-armed. Sanctions were not lightened, and agreements were continuously sabotaged.

    Cynical narrative

    Though it may seem that Kim is some sort of madman, he's simply using the only leverage he has in dealing with South Korea and the US. Kim's nuclear ambitions are purely for show to seek political gains and sanctions relief.

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