- The North's constant weapons tests have kept tensions high all year, and they flared up again this week when five North Korean drones flew into South Korea
- Kim is under more and more pressure because of international sanctions, the effects of a lockdown to stop the spread of a virus, and natural disasters.
Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, announced new military goals for 2023 at a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Wednesday. These goals hint at another year of intense weapons tests and tension.
The report said that on the second day of the Sixth Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the party, Kim talked about the “newly created challenging situation” on the Korean peninsula and the larger political scene.
It also said that the third-generation leader set the direction for the “anti-enemy struggle” and the goals for building up defence power.
“He laid out the rules for foreign policy and the way to fight the enemy that our party and government must strictly follow to protect sovereign rights and defend national interests.”
“New core goals for strengthening self-defense capabilities that will be worked on hard in 2023 have been presented in case the political situation changes in different ways.”
KCNA didn’t say much about these goals, but Kim’s comments could mean that the country will keep building up its military quickly.
This year, North Korea has fired more missiles than ever before. Many of these launches were part of a five-year plan laid out at a Workers’ Party congress in early 2021 to make “top priority” strategic weapons.
On the list are tactical nuclear weapons, a new intercontinental ballistic missile, hypersonic gliding flight warheads, nuclear-powered submarines, and a reconnaissance satellite.
The North’s constant weapons tests have kept tensions high all year, and they flared up again this week when five North Korean drones flew into South Korea, causing Seoul to send out fighter jets and attack helicopters to try to shoot them down.
During the plenary meeting, Kim also talked about “a series of serious shortcomings” in science, education, and health this year. He suggested ways to fix them and brought up important tasks for next year, according to KCNA.
North Korean leaders used to give speeches on New Year’s Day, but in recent years, Kim has held parties that last for several days at the end of the year to announce big policy changes.
Kim is under more and more pressure because of international sanctions, the effects of a lockdown to stop the spread of a virus, and natural disasters.