- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told veterans there would not be another war
- He spoke to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-3 Korean war
- Mr Kim said the country's nuclear weapons were a 'reliable, effective' deterrent
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said his country's nuclear weapons give it 'an absolute might' against foreign powers.
During a speech to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War on Monday Mr Kim told war veterans gathered in Pyongyang there would be 'no war in our land again'.
He said the country's nuclear weapons were a 'reliable, effective' deterrent and it was now 'a nuclear state', according to the Korean Central News Agency.
'Now, we've changed to a country which can defend itself reliably and unwaveringly against high-intensity pressures and military threats and blackmailing by imperialistic reactionaries and hostile forces,' he said.
'There won't be any war on this land again and our national security and future will be guaranteed firmly and permanently because of our reliable, effective self-defensive nuclear deterrent.'
His speech followed recent remarks by both North Korean and US officials suggesting they were reluctant to engage in a new round of diplomacy on the North's nuclear program.
Mr Kim, 36, and President Donald Trump met three times since 2018 - when Mr Kim abruptly reached out to Washington and Seoul for talks.
He said he wanted to deal away his advancing nuclear arsenals.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Trump would only want to engage with Mr Kim again if there were real prospects of progress.
Mr Kim's sister and senior ruling party official, Kim Yo Jong, said a new summit would be 'impractical' for North Korea and that Pyongyang would not gift Mr Trump a high-level meeting that he can boast as a foreign policy achievement.
Many experts were sceptical of Mr Kim's disarmament commitment and said he only aimed to weaken US-led sanctions and perfect his nuclear program.
The nuclear diplomacy remains largely stalled since a second meeting in February 2019 in Vietnam collapsed without reaching any agreement because Mr Trump rejected Mr Kim's proposal to get extensive sanctions relief in return for a limited denuclearisation step.
Mr Kim entered this year with a vow to bolster his nuclear program and threatened to unveil a new 'strategic' weapon.
He also said he would no longer be bound by a self-imposed temporary pause on nuclear and long-range missile tests.
Mr Kim has not performed such high-profile weapons tests, which some analysts say could completely derail diplomacy with the US.
During the celebrations Mr Kim gave out commemorative pistols to army officers.
They held the pistols against their chests and made firm pledges to fight for their leader at the cost of their lives.
It comes after Mr Kim convened an emergency politburo meeting after a person suspected of having COVID-19 illegally crossed the border from South Korea into the state earlier this month, state media said on Sunday.
If confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by North Korean authorities, who have so far said the country has no confirmed cases of the disease.
Kim declared a state of emergency and imposed a lockdown on the border city of Kaesong, calling it a 'critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country,' state news agency KCNA reported.