North Korean leader Kim Jong-un publicly expressed his determination not to give up the country's nuclear weapons, accusing the US of seeking the collapse of his regime, not just denuclearization, state media reported on Friday.
He made clear that Pyongyang has no intention of resuming negotiations for denuclearization, as the North's rubber-stamp parliament approved a new nuclear force policy during a key session earlier this week, according to Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
"The aim of the US is not just to eliminate our nuclear weapons themselves but also ultimately to bring down our regime anytime by forcing (North Korea) to put down nuclear weapons and give up or weaken the power to exercise self-defense," Kim was quoted as saying in his speech at the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) meeting on Thursday.
Kim added the North should incessantly expand the scope of its "tactical nuclear operation" to bolster its nuclear combat posture, reports Yonhap News Agency.
His strong message came as the SPA adopted a new law that allows the regime to launch an "automatic nuclear strike" if it is attacked.
Under the law, a nuclear strike can be automatically and immediately carried out to destroy the origin of a provocation if the command and control system of the nuclear forces is in danger of an attack by "hostile forces", the KCNA said.
The North also staged a large night-time event in Pyongyang on Thursday to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the country's foundation.
Nuclear talks between the US and the North have remained stalled amid little progress in inter-Korean reconciliation since the Hanoi summit between former President Donald Trump and Kim ended without a deal in 2019. (AA/IANS)