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South Korean president warns Kim of regime’s demise if he uses nuclear weapons

South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol said on Tuesday that the North Korean regime will be “brought to an end ” if it uses nuclear weapons.

At a speech at a ceremony marking the 75th Armed Forces Day at Seoul Air Base, Yoon said North Korea should realise that its nuclear weapons are no guarantee of its security. Seoul-based Yonhap News quoted Yoon as saying:

If North Korea uses nuclear weapons, its regime will be brought to an end by an overwhelming response from the South Korea-US alliance.

Despite warnings from the international community, Pyongyang continues to strengthen its nuclear and missile capabilities, the President said. Yoon pledged to continue working to promote security co-operation with the US and Japan.

A large-scale military parade will be held in downtown Seoul on Tuesday for the first time since 2013. The parade will involve about 4,000 troops and more than 170 pieces of military equipment, including K2 battle tanks, a new “powerful” missile and attack drones.

Yoon made the statement after North Korea said Monday that progress in bilateral relations with Russia is its “sovereign” right and “the foundation of regional stability.” During his address to the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Yoon said any arms deal between North Korea and Russia would amount to a “direct provocation” against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un returned to Pyongyang last week after a week-long trip to Russia.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea had launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile from an area near Pyongyang. The missile and flew eastward toward Japan, reaching an altitude of some 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers.) It was the latest in a series of weapons tests meant to protest the allied military drills, which North Korea had called a “huge mistake.”

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