North Korea law authorizes pre-emptive nuclear strikes


North Korea passed a law Sept. 9 enshrining its right to launch pre-emptive nuclear strikes. According to the official¬†Korea Central New Agency (KCNA), the law states that “if the command and control system of the national nuclear force is in danger of being attacked by hostile forces, the nuclear strike will be carried out automatically and immediately.” The¬†KCNA added¬†that “by promulgating a law on a policy of the nuclear forces, our country’s status as a nuclear-weapons state has become irreversible.”¬†The new law replaces a 2013 law that allowed¬†for the use of nuclear weapons only¬†in retaliation or to repel¬†invasion.

This move appears to¬†rule¬†out any possible negotiations with the South, despite the recent efforts of South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol. On Aug. 15, Yoon used his speech¬†marking the¬†77th Liberation Day¬†(celebrated in both the South and North)¬†to put forth¬†an initiativeoffering a large aid program to the North in exchange for de-nuclearization. Yoon stated that “de-nuclearization of North Korea is essential for sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula and the world.”

Pyongyang conducted a series of missile tests in 2022, including a suspected ICBM.

From Jurist, Sept. 12. Used with permission.

Photo: MissileThreat

  1. Korea: ‘warning shots’ along disputed sea boundary

    North and South Korea exchanged “warning shots” along their disputed western sea boundary‚ÄĒa scene of past bloodshed and naval battles.¬†South Korea’s navy broadcast warnings and fired warning shots to repel a North Korean merchant ship that violated the sea boundary.¬†North Korea’s military said its coastal defense units responded by firing 10 rounds of artillery “warning shots” in its territorial waters, where “naval enemy movement was detected.”

    The sea boundary off the Korean Peninsula’s west coast is a source of long-running animosities. The UN command drew a border at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, but North Korea insists on a boundary that encroaches deeply into waters controlled by the South. Among the deadly events that have happened in the area are the North’¬†shelling of a South-controlled island and its apparent torpedoing of a South Korean navy ship, both in 2010. The two attacks killed 50 South Koreans. (AP)

  2. Two Koreas exchange missile fire

    A North Korean ballistic missile landed less than 60 kilometers off South Korea’s coast on Nov. 3‚ÄĒunprecedentedly close to¬†the South’s claimed waters.¬†South Korea responded with three missile launches of its own. The missile from the North, one of a barrage of some 20 that day,¬†landed south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed inter-Korean maritime border. It fell¬†off the South’s port city of Sokcho and triggered air-raid alarms on Ulleungdo island. ¬†South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called it an “effective act of territorial encroachment.”¬†(Rueters, BBC News) The launches came as the US and South Korea are undertaing their largest ever air drills.¬†(Reuters)

  3. North Korea to no longer pursue reconciliation with South

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced Jan. 15 that North Korea will no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea and called for a constitutional change to identify South Korea as the “number one hostile state,”¬†according to the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). (Jurist)

  4. Russia vetoes renewal of UN panel monitoring North Korea

    Russia on March 28 vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of a panel of experts monitoring North Korea.

    The resolution would have extended the mandate of the¬†Panel of Experts assisting the Sanctions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until April 30, 2025. Without the extension, the panel’s “credible, fact-based and independent investigations”¬†of North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs will be blocked, according to the US representative to the UN. (Jurist)