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It looks like at least one horrific part of 2017 will continue into the New Year: North Korea is doubling down on nuclear development plans in 2018.
In an unsettling report titled "No Force Can Prevail over Independence and Justice," Kim Jong Un's administration made it clear they won't be changing course in 2018. Issued by North Korea state-run news agency KCNA, the announcement explains, "Do not expect any change in its policy."
Making a point to address the United States by name, the report says that North Korea will "continue bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and preemptive attack with the nuclear force as the pivot as long as the U.S. and its vassal forces persist in nuclear threat." Later Korean officials add, "The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet."
Perhaps the most terrifying portion of the announcement comes when Kim Jong Un's administration declares that their new-and-improved weapons have the ability to strike "the heart of the U.S." They are reportedly ready to "deal with the U.S.'s most ferocious declaration of war with fire surely and definitely."
The contentious report is the latest in a series of antagonistic interactions between the United States and North Korea. Amidst repeated North Korean ballistics missile tests, President Donald Trump has made a habit of writing bizarre tweets about the tense situation, once referring to Kim Jong Un as "rocket man."
Later, Trump simply called the dictator "short and fat."
Saturday's report from North Korea came while Trump was busy adding fuel to the fire of another historically tense U.S. foreign affairs relationship. Addressing Iran, Trump warned, "Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice."