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Kim Jong-un Moves to Increase North Korea’s Nuclear Strength

2020-05-24 07:24:45
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SEOUL, South Korea — After another weekslong absence from public view, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has convened the country’s top military-governing body, outlining “new policies for further increasing” its nuclear capabilities and promoting top weapons officials, the North’s state-run media said on Sunday.

Mr. Kim’s attendance at the meeting was his first public activity reported by the North Korean media in three weeks. A weekslong absence from public view last month prompted rumors that he might have health issues or other trouble, and the repeat this month sparked similar rumors.

During the meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Mr. Kim was said to have promoted Ri Pyong-chol to vice chairman of the commission, expanding his influence. Mr. Ri has been in charge of building nuclear weapons and their delivery missiles.

“Set forth at the meeting were new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country and putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported ​on Sunday. “Taken at the meeting were crucial measures for considerably increasing the firepower strike ability of the artillery pieces of the Korean People’s Army.”

The news agency did not say when the meeting took place, although it usually reports Mr. Kim’s public activities a day after they happen. Nor did it clarify what Mr. Kim’s new policies on his nuclear weapons might be.

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