North Korean Defense Minister, General Kang Sun-nam, delivered a statement at the Moscow International Security Conference, warning that the world is on the brink of nuclear conflict. He blamed the United States for escalating tensions by pursuing a policy of regime change in Pyongyang. General Kang accused the US of increasing its military presence in the region by deploying nuclear-capable aircraft and a submarine.
According to General Kang, the question is no longer if a nuclear war will break out on the Korean Peninsula, but rather who will start it. He highlighted the US’s recent deployments of a nuclear-capable submarine, an aircraft carrier group, and a nuclear-capable bomber as evidence of its aggressive actions. The US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 11, led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, arrived at a South Korean military port in March, shortly after North Korea unveiled its new, smaller nuclear warheads.
In June, a US B-52 strategic bomber participated in joint drills with South Korea, followed by the deployment of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, USS Kentucky, armed with 20 Trident II ballistic missiles and 80 nuclear warheads.
General Kang stated that the US’s hostile state policy towards North Korea for the past 80 years has pushed the situation in Northeast Asia to the brink of a nuclear war. He called on Washington to acknowledge its belligerent approach and abandon its confrontational stance if it genuinely desires a peaceful resolution to the crisis. General Kang emphasized that unless the US changes its position, dialogue will be impossible, and military force will be the only way to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
He dismissed claims by the US and its allies about their willingness to negotiate and resolve issues around the peninsula, asserting that they are nothing more than empty promises. General Kang argued that North Korea must possess military means of deterrence to prevent a nuclear war.
Moreover, General Kang contended that North Korea would no longer view US drill suspensions or similar actions as sincere goodwill gestures. He believed that the US could redeploy its military contingent to the peninsula within a matter of days or half a month even if it fully withdraws from South Korea.
His statement coincided with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s order to heighten preparations for war, including increasing weapon production and conducting drills with the country’s latest weaponry. This move was made ahead of a major joint military exercise planned by the US and South Korea.
As tensions escalate between the US and North Korea, it remains to be seen whether diplomatic solutions can be achieved or if military force will become the reality on the Korean Peninsula. The international community closely watches the developments and hopes for a peaceful resolution to avoid the dire consequences of a nuclear conflict.