North Korean media is reporting a statement from the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un which states that Pyongyang will never cease building its nuclear programme until its capabilities and arsenal are equal to that of the United States.
This comes hours after Donald Trump announced plans to end the so-called Defense Spending Sequester which caps the amount of money the US armed forces can be given during any given financial year.
In this sense, both the US and North Korea appear to be in an open arms race. While the US is vastly ahead of North Korea in terms of nuclear firepower, the duel announcements go against the spirit of the Sino-Russian peace plan for Korea which calls for a ‘double-freeze’ on weapons build-ups among both Korean States. This includes a request that the US ceases its deliveries of THAAD missile systems to South Korea.
Earlier, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that if necessary his country is ready to completely destroy North Korea.
None of these statements bode well in respect of de-escalating the conflict.