And, in a chilling warning, the dictator has formally declared the state a “fully-fledged nuclear power”.
Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop revealed she had received a letter from the Kim regime in which North Korea insists it will not be brought to its knees by President Trump’s repeated nuclear threats.
Addressed to the “parliaments of different countries”, the letter condemns Trump’s speech at the UN where he boasted the US could “totally destroy” North Korea before announcing his rogue state had joined the world’s nuclear club.
The letter reads: “If Trump thinks that he would bring the DPRK [North Korea], a nuclear power, to its knees through nuclear war threat, it will be a big miscalculation and an expression of ignorance.
“The DPRK has emerged a fully-fledged nuclear power which has a strong nuclear arsenal and various kinds of nuclear delivery means made by dint of self-reliance and self-development. The real foe of nuclear force is a nuclear war itself.
“The Foreign Affairs Committee … takes this opportunity to express belief that the parliaments of different countries loving independence, peace and justice will fully discharge their due mission and duty in realising the desire of mankind for international justice and peace with sharp vigilance against the heinous and reckless moves of the Trump administration trying to drive the world into a horrible nuclear disaster.”
The letter raised eyebrows because of the unusual way it was sent – rather than issuing the comment through the KCNA state media outlet, the letter was isuedvia North Korea’s embassy in Jakarta to Australia’s Indonesian embassy.
Ms Bishop believes the letter shows that increasing sanctions on Pyongyang are working in reducing North Korea’ ability to threaten the international community.
She told the Sydney Morning Herald: “This is the first letter that we can find that any Australian foreign minister has received from North Korea…it’s an open letter, this is not how they usually send messages around the world.
“I read this as showing that the collective strategy of allies and partners to impose maximum pressure and diplomatic and economic sanctions on North Korea is working; this is a very unusual step of issuing an open letter of this character.
“Those two UN Security Council resolutions, which were embraced by China and Russia, impose for the first time sector-wide comprehensive sanctions against DPRK. And most of those sanctions have to be implemented by China.
“So I think that this shows they are feeling desperate, feeling isolated, trying to demonise the US, trying to divide the international community.”
It is not known which other nations may have received the same letter but it could be seen as an attempt to rejuvenate relations between Australia and North Korea, which have deteriorated considerably in recent years.
Australia maintains low-level diplomatic relations with North Korea but has not had an embassy in Pyongyang since 1974, while North Korea closed its embassy in Canberra in 2008.