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N.Korea's Kim says country ready to mobilize nuclear war deterrent

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country is ready to ready to mobilize its nuclear war deterrent and for any military clash with the United States, state media reported on Thursday, amid signs the North could conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

Kim made the remarks during a speech at an event to mark the 69th anniversary of the July 27 Korean War armistice, which left the two Koreas technically still at war, according to the official KCNA news agency.

Kim also denounced South Korea's Yoon Suk-yeol administration, saying any attempts to preemptively incapacitate the North would be met with a stern response and "annihilation."

"I once again make it clear that North Korea is fully ready for any military confrontation with the United States," Kim said.

North Korea in recent months has tested hypersonic missiles and missiles that it says could carry tactical nuclear weapons, narrowing the time that Seoul would have to respond to a pending attack.

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