North Korea's navy will soon be equipped with nuclear weapons in order to support the country's "deterrence" strategy, dictator Kim Jong Un announced.
Kim's announcement comes amid weeks of military drills in the region by both South Korea and the U.S. The leader blamed the U.S. military for increasing "the danger of a nuclear war" during an address on the country's Navy Day.
"Owing to the reckless confrontational moves of the U.S. and other hostile forces, the waters off the Korean Peninsula have been reduced into the world's biggest war hardware concentration spot, the most unstable waters with the danger of a nuclear war," Kim was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea's efforts are believed to be focused on equipping the country's submarines with nuclear-capable missiles.
Kim's announcements comes after more than a year of ramped up aggression from North Korea. The country has carried out a record number of weapons tests and missile launches in 2023.
North Korea's military failed its second attempt to deploy a satellite in orbit last week, with its rocket failing in the third stage of flight. North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration said it will attempt to launch a spy satellite again in October.
The National Aerospace Development Administration said it would first study what went wrong with last week's launch, but noted that "the cause of the relevant accident is not a big issue in terms of the reliability of cascade engines and the system."
South Korea’s military said the launch of the rocket violated U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea from using ballistic technologies.
Japanese Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno called the North Korean launch a "threat to peace and stability."
Fox News' Richard Lawrence and the Associated Press contributed to this report.