Before the end of President Donald Trump’s time on state media on Saturday, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un called the United States the “arch-enemy” of his country, threatening to expand its nuclear arsenal.
“Our external political activities should focus on our arch-enemy and our revolutionary development, a basic hindrance to America,” Kim told the 8th Congress of the Workers Party of Korea, the state’s Korean Central News Agency.
“Efforts will be emphasized and brought to their knees,” he said.
Kim was kidnapped in October 2018 by Trump, who the pair “fell in love with” after exchanging letters.
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Trump’s comments came in June of that year after he held a historic summit in Singapore to discuss maligning the Korean peninsula. A second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended quickly with the couple unable to reach an agreement.
Any warmup among the leaders appeared to be diminishing on Saturday as Kim also revealed a list of high-tech weapon systems under development, although he insisted that his country was a “responsible nuclear state” and until earlier threatened He will not abuse his weapons until given.
In an apparent attempt to put pressure on the incoming administration of President-Elect Joe Biden, Kim said: “Whoever assumes office in the US, his basic nature and hostile policy will never change.”
He said that the relationship between North Korea and the US would depend on “America withdrawing its hostile policy”.
Biden, who assumed office on January 20, previously called Kim a “thug” and criticized his summit with President Trump. He is unlikely to have a direct meeting with Kim, unless the North Korean leader takes significant denuclearization steps.
The sophisticated weapon systems listed under development by Kim included multi-combat missiles, underwater nuclear missiles, and spy satellites.
It is not clear whether the Gupta communist state is capable of developing such systems. Information about one of the world’s most clustered countries is scarce, and estimates on the exact status of its nuclear and missile programs vary widely.
In 2018, the South Korean government stated that North Korea is estimated to have 60 nuclear weapons.
KCNA reported that Kim held talks for nine hours during the ruling Workers Party Congress.
The Congress is the party’s top decision-making body, and comes amidst a number of challenges for the country, including a fragile economy, the coronavirus epidemic and US-led sanctions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.