North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said the military danger facing his country has increased in recent years, while the United States has done nothing to make him believe it has dropped its hostility toward it, state media reported Tuesday.
In a speech at a weapons exhibition in Pyongyang on Monday, the text of which was carried by the Korean Central News Agency, Kim said the security situation is "different from that 10 or five, nay, three years ago," citing heightened military tension and rivals' rapid development of military techniques and hardware.
He appeared to be suggesting that instability has increased since 2018 when talks were held three times between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae In, who is proud of the inter-Korean summits as a political achievement.
Pointing to U.S.-South Korea military exercises and South Korea's "intolerably undisguised" efforts to beef up its military with enhanced missiles, submarines and fighter aircraft, he said, "We can easily guess how military environment will change in the region of the Korean peninsula tomorrow."
"South Korea has been unhesitant...in disclosing its ambition for securing military supremacy over us under the preposterous excuse of deterring threat from us," he said.
Regarding the United States, Kim said it "has frequently sent signals that it is not hostile to our state, but its behaviors provide us with no reason why we should believe in them."
"The United States is still generating regional tension with its wrong judgment and acts," he said, in remarks that seemed to suggest North Korea is not ready to engage in dialogue anytime soon.
Kim made the speech at the opening ceremony of a defense development exhibition titled "Self-Defence-2021."
North Korean media published photos from the event, including those of a weapon presumed to be the hypersonic missile North Korea says it has newly developed, as well as an intercontinental ballistic missile.
On a conciliatory note, Kim said, "Undoubtedly, we are not strengthening our defense capability targeting at south Korea."
"The dreadful history of having recourse to arms against the fellow countrymen must not be repeated on this land," he said, alluding to the 1950-1953 Korean War in which U.S.-led U.N. forces fought alongside the South against the North, backed by China and the Soviet Union.
"We are not talking about a war with someone; we are building up war deterrent true to the meaning of the words in order to prevent the war itself and to safeguard the sovereignty of our state."
Kim called the "grand-scale" weapons exhibition "an epoch-making demonstration of our national strength no less significant than a large-scale military parade."
North Korea marked the 76th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea on Sunday without holding a military parade. The country held one on the anniversary last year.
In response to Kim's speech, South Korea's Unification Ministry suggested that North Korea resume talks with Seoul as communication lines between the two Koreas were recently reconnected.
"Now that the inter-Korean communications lines are restored, it is time to restart talks as soon as possible while maintaining the stable operation of them," an official of the ministry told reporters, vowing to work toward recovering South-North ties and building a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The official added that the South Korean government will not prejudge North Korea's stance shown in the speech and will closely analyze messages from Pyongyang in a more comprehensive way.