A report of the United Nations reveals that North Korea violated existing international sanctions. It has continued with its programs associated with a nuclear and ballistic missiles. Throughout 2020, it arranged funds of nearly $300m through cyber hacks. Kim Jong-un's regime conducted activities like producing fissile material, maintaining its nuclear facilities, and upgrading the ballistic missile infrastructure. The necessary material and technology came from sources located abroad. These are the findings of independent sanction monitors. This is an annual report sent to the Security Council by the North Korea sanctions committee.

It comes soon after Joe Biden assumed charge of the White House. North Korea is unlikely to change its strategy towards the United States.

A State Department indicated the Biden administration planned to modify its strategies on North Korea. The exercise would cover aspects like a detailed review with allies on subjects related to various pressure options and explore the potential to reopen diplomatic channels. Kim Jong-un, the North's leader, met former U.S. President Donald Trump thrice in 2018 and 2019. There were hopes of some positive outcome, but that did not materialize. The two leaders were unable to arrive at any solution. The United States wanted Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons while the North demanded an end to sanctions.

Missiles have become an integral part of North Korea

North Korea, the hermit kingdom, has kept up its activities about missiles. These include short-range and medium-range ones apart from submarine-launched and intercontinental ballistic missile systems. Displaying the weapons at events like military parades has become an integral feature of these events.

The country loses no opportunity to showcase its arsenal. North Korea held a military parade on the 75th anniversary of the Worker’s Party. The arsenal is a matter of concern for not just the US and its allies but the whole world. Incidentally, the country refrained from testing any nuclear or ballistic missile in 2020. However, Pyongyang did announce about preparatory work for testing and production of new warheads and the development of tactical nuclear weapons.

North Korea destroyed tunnels at its leading nuclear test site in 2018

To prove its commitment to end nuclear testing, the North destroyed tunnels at its main nuclear test site in 2018. Daily Mail UK adds that the North did not abandon it, and it is still active. The media report says North Korea and Iran have resumed cooperation on the subject, and the latest shipment was last year. These amount to a violation of sanctions that have been in place since 2006. On a rough assessment, North Korea-linked hackers generated revenue to finance its nuclear and missile programs. In 2019, the country exported coal to fund its nuclear activities. That appears to have stopped since July 2020. During the coronavirus pandemic, the North imposed a strict lockdown last year.

That hurt its economy, which was already reeling under the burden of international sanctions. North Korea plans to develop the Mount Kumgang complex into a tourist destination.

The nuclear program of North Korea is a defense against US invasion

According to The BBC, North Korea claims its weapons program is a safeguard against a possible US invasion. Kim Jong-un has pledged to expand his county’s nuclear arsenal and military potential. He has also outlined a list of desired weapons. Kim’s regime carried out testing of missiles to demonstrate the advances of its military technology. One of its missiles had the capabilities to reach US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam. It meant the weapon could get to New York as well.

In October 2020, the North unveiled its new ballistic missile, which has yet to be tested. It seems it could deliver a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the United States.

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