North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un claimed Friday he was ready to go to war with the United States and the "puppet" South Korean regime. The hermit kingdom's leader made the comments while observing North Korean Air Force drills marking the 62nd anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, according to a report by Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
"Gone forever is the era when the United States blackmailed us with nukes," said Jong-Un in the Pravda report. "Now the United States is no longer a source of threat and fear for us and we are the very source of fear for it."
While the United States was unlikely to be moved by North Korea's threats, the country does still stand out as a dangerous nation in the region and counts China and Russia as close allies.
Since the country's previous leader Kim Jong-il died in 2011, the country's political and military situation has been volatile and unpredictable. Despite some who thought the regime change would bring relief to the country, Jong-Un has kept the brutal status quo.
In addition to crippling hunger and poverty in the country, Jong-Un has a gruesome record of disposing of anyone who he felt was a threat to his continued dictatorship, which has included members of his own family. The country has also been sporadically testing ballistic missiles in recent months and has continuously antagonized South Korea by hosting military exercises close to the demilitarized zone between it and the South.
Jong-Un said that the recent military drills were designed to "bring about a radical turn” and would “round off preparations for a war with the U.S. imperialists” and the “South Korean puppet group keen to escalate the confrontation with the fellow countrymen and that of social systems.”
Last month, a North Korean soldier was arrested after walking across the heavily armed border with the South. It’s believed he was attempting to defect.