North Korea says it will reconsider its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests
On Thursday, North Korea stated that it plans to evaluate all of its temporally suspended activities and bolster its defense against the United States. The announcement may be a reference to its self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons. The moratorium has been in place since 2017. Pyongyang is banned from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons under international law, however, it has continues developing weapons in violation of the band. State media KCNA reported that North Korea could not overlook hostile policies and military threats originating from the US any more. The country acknowledged the need to prepare for a long term confrontation with the US and its allies.
After Thursday’s report, the South Korean military will be closely monitoring North Korea’s activities. The announcement comes as the country has ramped up its missile tests during the month of January. Just last week, the US announced sanctions on five North Korean individuals and one entity that is known to be supporting the regime’s ballistic missile programs. North Korea protested the new sanctions, calling them foolish and claiming that they deprive the country of its right to self-defense. North Korea conducted its fourth missile test of the year on Monday, firing two missiles into the ocean off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.