North Korea Enshrines Law Making Right Of Nuclear First Strike "Irreversible"

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Sep 09, 2022 - 02:30 PM

North Korea has passed an unprecedented law which declares its right of preemptive nuclear strikes to be "irreversible" while permanently barring any denuclearisation talks, state media KCNA reports Friday. 

"The utmost significance of legislating nuclear weapons policy is to draw an irretrievable line so that there can be no bargaining over our nuclear weapons," leader Kim Jong-un announced, paving the way for what's widely believed an impending resumption of nuclear testing, which hasn't happened since 2017.

Kim vowed that he will never surrender the country's nuclear arms even if facing 100 years of sanctions. "Let them sanction us for 100 days, 1,000 days, 10 years or 100 years."

The parliament, called the Supreme People’s Assembly, rubber-stamped the legislation on Thursday, updating a 2013 nuclear policy, KCNA reports.

Kim's provocative words were reported and translated as follows

"The purpose of the United States is not only to remove our nuclear might itself, but eventually forcing us to surrender or weaken our rights to self-defense through giving up our nukes, so that they could collapse our government at any time," Kim said in the speech published by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

"Let them sanction us for 100 days, 1,000 days, 10 years or 100 years," Kim said. "We will never give up our rights to self-defense that preserves our country’s existence and the safety of our people just to temporarily ease the difficulties we are experiencing now."

In summary the new law lays out the following conditions under which North Korea can use nuclear weapons: 

  • if attacked
  • if under imminent threat of attack by Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
  • if an attack is imminent against strategic assets
  • as a last resort to defend against invasion
  • if government's leadership is attacked or in instance of an attack on nuclear command and control system

The legislation further bans any sharing of nuclear technology or secrets with other nations. Reuters has underscored that the change is likely driven by Kim's "fears of a so-called decapitation strike."

The report describes that "Kim has monolithic command over the nuclear forces, but the law's wording may indicate that if he is killed, a senior official would be designated to authorize nuclear strikes, said Ankit Panda of the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace."