Kim Jong-un’s decade in charge of North Korea highlighted by nuclear advances
Since taking control of North Korea after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011, Kim Jong-un has made terrifying strides in the way of nuclear power.
An analyst has highlighted the leader's focus on military advancements and boasting a large nuclear arsenal with the constant worry of South Korea's allegiance with the US hanging over his head.
The dictator has also spent the last decade focusing on strategic weapons such as nuclear and long-range missiles.
Kim Yeol-su, senior fellow at the think tank Korea Institute for Military Affairs, told Yonhap News: "Over the past decade, the North Korean leader has made great strides, focusing mostly on strategic weapons like nuclear and long-range missiles."
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He continued: "The North used to fear a possible US attack. But with these strategic weapons under its belt, the North might think that it has achieved at least a minimum level of deterrence against its perceived threats."
December marks a decade since Kim's dad died, paving the way for the tubby tyrant to take power.
A major milestone in his decade in charge came in 2017 when he announced the completion of the state nuclear force. This followed tests of the new intercontinental missile the was capable of hitting the US.
The evolving missile program and advances in military defence has led to worries that the US may not be able to aid South Korea in fear that their homeland will be targeted.
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The threat of the US has played on the North Korean leader's mind, with an urgency to develop nuclear weapons that would fend off the global powerhouse.
It also came about due to the hostile relations from Washington with regards to Pyongyang.
An anonymous Seoul-based security expert told Yonhap News: "Kim has been doubling down on his security campaign, with an initial, urgent focus on strategic weapons like nuclear arms for deterrence against the US.
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"Later, he started focusing on tactical-level weapons like shorter-range yet powerful missiles to achieve military superiority on the peninsula."
It also seems that North Korea's influx of funding in the military isn't set to slow down, despite the lasting economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kim Yeol-su added: "With the limited state funds funnelled into the military, people might grow disgruntled with poor infrastructure and the absence of welfare services, which would after all become a destabilising factor for the country."
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