Authoritarian leader aims for equal footing with United States
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un insists his country will establish an "equilibrium" with the United States by completing its nuclear weapon development in spite of sanctions, according to state media Saturday.
Kim's comments reportedly came while overseeing the North's latest launch of a ballistic missile over Japan the previous day.
"We should clearly show the big power chauvinists how our state attain the goal of completing its nuclear force despite their limitless sanctions and blockade," Kim was quoted as saying by KCNA news agency.
Pyongyang was hit with a ninth United Nations Security Council resolution since 2006 following its latest nuclear test on September 3. North Korea is barred from both nuke tests and ballistic missile launches.
The newest punitive measures include restricting the North's access to oil, but analysts believe the reclusive state will be able to survive the sanctions with Chinese and Russian support.
U.S. President Donald Trump again warned Pyongyang of "overwhelming" military options after Friday's missile launch.
While the North has refused to accept South Korean offers of dialogue, Kim's remarks made it clear Pyongyang wants Washington's respect.
"Our final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about (a) military option," he said.
The North Korean leader also hinted he will order more provocations as Pyongyang aims to master its ability to strike the U.S. with a miniaturized warhead fixed to an intercontinental ballistic missile.