SEOUL (Dispatches) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for more advanced nuclear weapons and said the United States is "our biggest enemy,” state media said on Saturday, presenting a stark challenge to President-elect Joe Biden just days before he takes office.
Washington’s hostile policies would not change regardless of who occupies the White House but dropping those policies would be key to North Korea-U.S. relations, Kim said, according to state news agency KCNA.
"Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing the U.S., our biggest enemy and main obstacle to our innovated development,” Kim said during nine hours of remarks over several days at a rare party congress in Pyongyang.
"No matter who is in power in the U.S., the true nature of the U.S. and its fundamental policies towards North Korea never change,” Kim said, vowing to expand ties with "anti-imperialist, independent forces.”
North Korea would not "misuse” its nuclear weapons, Kim said but the country is expanding its nuclear arsenal, including "preemptive” and "retaliatory” strike capabilities and warheads of varying sizes.
Kim called for developing equipment including hypersonic weapons, solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), spy satellites, and drones.
North Korea is preparing for the test and production of various new weapons, including a "multi-warhead rocket” and "supersonic gliding flight warheads for new type ballistic rockets,” while research on a nuclear submarine is nearly complete, he said.
Kim criticized South Korea for offering cooperation in "non-fundamental” areas such as coronavirus aid and tourism, and said Seoul should stop buying arms from and conducting military drills with the United States.
Kim had three unprecedented meetings with President Donald Trump and the two corresponded in a series of letters, but those efforts failed to lead to a denuclearization deal or official change in the countries’ relations.
Besides U.S. and defense policy, Kim spoke at greater length on proposals for a five-year economic plan due to be announced at the congress, which he said would continue a focus on building an independent economy.
"The basic seeds and themes of the new five-year economic development plan are still self-reliance and self-sufficiency,” he said.
Among the plans are building energy-saving steel plants, significantly increasing chemical goods, boosting electricity production, and securing more coal mines, Kim said.