The United States is preparing a new one round of sanctions against North Korea, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday, as Pyongyang moves forward with development of banned missiles and hints at a possible new test nuclear.
These statements coincide with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s call for a major political conference later this year, where he is expected to address his increasingly strained relations with Washington and Seoul over the expansion of its nuclear and missile programs.
During a press conference in Seoul organized by the Center for US-based Strategic and International Studies and South Korea’s JoongAng Media Group, Sullivan said, “We have a new set of punitive measures in I’ll be there as we speak.”
Sullivan, who spoke in video conference, did not provide details, but said Washington was committed to using pressure and diplomacy to get North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.
The last one round US sanctions action in October targeted two companies registered in Singapore and one company registered in the Marshall Islands that Washington says supports Pyongyang’s weapons programs and its military.
Kim is watching a conference of his strained relations with Washington and Seoul
In context, i media North Korean state officials said on Thursday that Kim chaired a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party political bureau, in whose members reviewed the implementation of state policies in 2022 and decided to hold a broader general meeting of the Central Party of the party Committee in sometime in late December.
In recent years, Kim has used late December or early January political conferences to review state affairs and reveal his top goals in economics, foreign policy and weapons development. These meetings probably replace the post of Kim’s New Year’s Eve speeches, which he’s been missing since 2020 after using it for years to make major announcements.
North Korea’s official Central Korean News Agency said Kim insisted during Wednesday’s meeting in the capital, Pyongyang, that questyear the country has passed “an unprecedented test” either in internal and external conditions for making progress in national development and raising the “status and honor” ” of the country.
North Korea has stepped up its test missiles at a pace record questyear, by exploiting divisions in the United Nations Security Council, exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, to speed up weapons development and increase pressure on Washington and Seoul.
But Kim has also struggled to improve the dysfunctional economy and severe penalties exacerbated by pandemic border closures in recent years, an issue he may also address at the year-end meeting.
The accounts of media State officials on Kim’s comments at Wednesday’s Politburo meeting did not include specific details about what will be discussed at the party’s plenary session. He neither made any critical remarks about Washington or Seoul.
The official North Korean Central News Agency said Kim described 2023 as a decisive year for achieving the goals set in a five-year plan drawn up at a ruling party conference in January 2021, pledging to revamp its economy and strengthen its nuclear deterrent in the face of US-led sanctions and pressure.
During that conference, Kim released a long list of advanced weapons he wanted, including more powerful ICBMs, hypersonic weapons, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites, and tactical nukes.
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