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NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong-un reaffirmed the status of the US as the country’s biggest enemy on Saturday, as the Eighth Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party came to an end.
During nine hours of remarks in Pyongyang, he told delegates that he did not expect a different approach from the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.
He admitted failures in reaching certain economic targets, but highlighted efforts towards the “revolutionary measures” needed to develop in the fields of electricity, coal, transport, and information and communications.
Mr Kim also pledged to expand his nuclear deterrent and military — a longstanding source of conflict with the United States.
He reminded those gathered at the party’s four-day conference that successes had come despite external pressure, including from Washington-led sanctions aimed at harming the country’s economy.
He described the US as an aggressor, branding it “the world’s first user of nukes and war chieftain which divided the Korean territory and nation.”
Mr Kim credited the “energetic and outstanding guidance and activities conducted by the Party Central Committee to safeguard the destiny of the country” through advancements in nuclear capability.
He said that plans for a nuclear submarine were almost complete and expressed hopes to develop long-range ballistic missiles capable of being launched from land or sea.
The belligerent display was seen by many as a show of strength for Mr Biden before his inauguration on January 20.
Mr Kim’s initially fractious relationship with US President Donald Trump led to largely ineffective peace talks in 2019, when he nonetheless became the first US president to enter North Korea.
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