The Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA)—North Korea’s rubber stamp parliament—convenes today in Pyongyang . According to state media, this SPA session
The Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA)—North Korea’s rubber stamp parliament—convenes today in Pyongyang .
According to state media, this SPA session will focus on approving this year’s budget, but it will likely also elaborate on the country’s future nuclear ambitions. During the ruling Worker’s Party plenum in December, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for a significant expansion of the country’s nuclear arsenal, including mass-producing tactical nuclear missiles and the development of new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
In 2022, North Korea conducted a record 95 missile tests, including a new ICBM capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. In addition, Washington has accused Pyongyang of shipping arms to Russia. As a result, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. have strengthened trilateral sanction coordination and security cooperation.
During last September’s SPA’s session, the assembly codified the country’s right to conduct preemptive nuclear strikes into law. This session will likely see further measures taken at solidifying the country’s status as nuclear power. North Korea has been expected for some time to conduct another nuclear weapons test, the first since 2017. This could occur by February 8, when the country will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.