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N. Korea's new nuclear law seems focused on boosting deterrence: experts

15:21 September 21, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's recent codification of its nuclear policy that leaves the door open for preemptive strikes appears to be aimed at boosting its deterrence capabilities against external threats, experts here said Wednesday.

Earlier this month, North Korea promulgated a law on the conditions of launching preemptive nuclear strikes, which include when it faces an imminent threat to regime security.

"North Korea has changed its nuclear posture as it determined that possessing nuclear weapons alone cannot guarantee its security," Kim Bo-mi, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy, said at a forum hosted by the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) in Seoul. "North Korea's intention appears to be maximizing deterrence by stating that nuclear weapons can be used even at the beginning of a conflict."

Hong Min, director of the North Korea Research Division at KINU, also took note of differences between Pyongyang's new doctrine and its 2013 law that outlined the country's status as a nuclear power.

In the 2013 law, he said, "The purpose of the nuclear force mainly focused on avoiding external threats, but the recent law has actively given more meaning to the role of nuclear weapons to create 'strategic stability' beyond deterrence against threats."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers a speech at the second-day session of the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang on Sept. 8, 2022, in this file photo released by the Korean Central News Agency the following day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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