North Korea to speed up nuclear arsenal development, says Kim

North Korea to speed up nuclear arsenal development, says Kim

SEOUL Reuters - North Korea will speed up the development of its nuclear arsenal, leader Kim Jong Un said at a military parade that featured intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs state media reported on Tuesday.

The parade took place on Monday during celebrations for the founding anniversary of North Korea's armed forces, according to the state news agency KCNA. It comes after Pyongyang stepped up weapons tests and displays of military power amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States and an incoming conservative administration in South Korea.

Kim told the gathering that the nuclear force of the Republic must be ready to exercise its responsibility and unique deterrence anytime, according to KCNA.

He added that the North's nuclear force's mission is to deter war, but that may not be the only use if other countries impose undesired circumstances.

The parade featured the largest ICBM in North Korea, the Hwasong - 17, according to KCNA. The huge missile was tested for the first time last month, but officials in South Korea believe that efforts to conduct a full test resulted in an explosion over Pyongyang.

North Korea's state media did not immediately release images of Monday's parade, but the processions often display previously unseen weapons, and usually include rows of conventional weapons such as artillery and tanks, plus tens of thousands of goose-stepping troops shouting long life to Kim Jong Un.