North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Ri Pyong Chol issues statement

Ri Pyong Chol arriving at a Sun’s Day concert on 16 April 2023 (Photo: KCTV)

Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Secretary for Defense Industry and WPK Central Military Commission Vice Chariman, Marshal Ri Pyong Chol (Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l) issued a statement on 17 April (Monday) upbraiding the convocation of a United Nations Security Council [UNSC] meeting in response to recent DPRK missile drills and development tests.  Ri said:

The US and its followers are going to forcefully call another open meeting of the UNSC to take issue with the DPRK over its measures for bolstering up the military capabilities for self-defense.

I strongly denounce the US attempt to pull up the DPRK over the exercise of its deserved right to self-defense, describing it as a “provocation” and “threat”, by instigating the UNSC, as an undisguised disregard for the sovereignty of the DPRK and an obvious interference in its internal affairs.

The DPRK’s development of new-type strategic weapons is just a legitimate measure for bolstering up the self-defensive capability to defend the DPRK from the ever-increasing military threat by the US and long-term security concerns in the region, deter a war and safeguard the life and future of the peaceable people.

This year the US and the south Korean puppet group of traitors have staged ceaseless large-scale joint military exercises simulating a preemptive nuclear strike and all-out war against the DPRK, spouting such most hostile and aggressive remarks as “occupation of Pyongyang”, “beheading operation” and “end of the regime”, which admits of no excuse for its clear nature. In June they are going to stage another largest-ever “combined joint fire annihilation drill” in south Korea to drive the situation to the brink of explosion.

The US staged a combined air drill with the south Korean puppet clique on April 13 and 14 with the involvement of nuclear-capable strategic bombers. It is a clear proof that nuclear threat and blackmail against the DPRK have reached a level that can never be overlooked.

It is quite natural for the DPRK to make efforts to have more powerful means of self-defense to cope with the prevailing grave situation and long-term threat. Only then will it be possible to maintain the balance of power and put under control the security situation on the Korean peninsula.

It is a clear expression of double standards and a serious insult to the sovereignty of the DPRK that the UNSC tries to take issue again with the DPRK over the exercise of its legitimate right to self-defense only, failing to express even an iota of concern over the US, the chief culprit of the aggravating situation on the Korean peninsula.

If the UNSC is truly interested in ensuring peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, it should call into question the US illegal high-handed and arbitrary practices and all sorts of arms buildup and muscle flexing by it that escalate tensions, on the principle of sovereignty equality, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs specified in the UN Charter.

The US is still obsessed with overconfidence in its own strength, not aware of the fundamentally changed mechanical structure of the DPRK-US relations.

The US should properly face up to the trend of the times, though belatedly, and stop at once its political and military provocations getting on the nerves of the DPRK.

If the US persists in the acts of endangering the security environment on the Korean peninsula in disregard of the repeated warnings by the DPRK, the latter will take necessary actions to expose the former to a clearer security crisis and insurmountable threats.

This communique finds Ri Pyong Chol making a significant return to DPRK public life after a relatively low profile during the past few months.  His recent read-out was preceded by his attendance at several Sun’s Day event during the weekend.  Given recent development activity by North Korea’s defense industry, it is a safe assumption that Marshal Ri has things on his plate other than attending concerts and getting his photo published in state media

An affiliate of 38 North