North Korea's Kim Jong-un vows greater nuclear capability in threat to US

UN Security Council delays planned meeting until Friday

People at a train station in Seoul watch reports of North Korea's missile test on Wednesday. AP
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned the US that he will boost the country’s nuclear capabilities, a day after Pyongyang claimed it successfully tested a “hypersonic missile” that could evade American defences.

“As the actions of the past eight months of the new US administration have clearly shown, the US military threat and hostile policy towards North Korea has not changed at all,” Mr Kim said, according to the official Korea Central News Agency on Thursday.

He was addressing the second day of a parliamentary session.

Washington’s North Korea policy is becoming “more cunning”, he said, and added that he would increase new weapon developments to deter any possible “military provocations by hostile forces".

Pyongyang said its successful “hypersonic missile” test put the Kim regime closer to installing nuclear warheads on “high-speed gliders that can evade US missile defences".

The UN Security Council delayed an emergency closed meeting to discuss North Korea’s recent tests from Thursday morning until Friday at the request of Russia, China and other council members who said they needed more time to prepare, diplomats said. The meeting was requested by the US, the UK and France.

Meanwhile, Mr Kim extended an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was willing to restore inter-Korean communications lines and that Seoul must forfeit its “hostile policy” before the two countries can declare an official end to the Korean War.

The countries are still technically at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice, rather than a peace treaty.

In an address to the UN General Assembly last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in repeated his call for a formal end to the war.

Mr Moon has less than a year left in office and wants to honour a key policy priority of reconciliation with North Korea.

Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of Mr Kim, on Friday said Mr Moon’s proposal to officially declare an end to the Korean War was an “interesting and good idea”.

Updated: September 30, 2021, 4:30 PM