Pyongyang (TLS) – Pyongyang said “as long as the hostile U.S. policy and nuclear threat remains unchallenged,” it won’t eliminate its nuclear deterrent arsenal.
North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK, will not take its self-defensive nuclear deterrent arsenal to the negotiating table, a Pyongyang envoy has said.
“The measures taken by the DPRK to strengthen its nuclear deterrence and develop inter-continental rockets is a justifiable and legitimate option for self-defense in the face of such apparent and real threats,” Ju Yong Chol, a DPRK diplomat, said at a U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
“As long as the hostile U.S. policy and nuclear threat remains unchallenged, the DPRK will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table.”
Ju’s comment comes after U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told the same forum that U.S. President Donald Trump‘s top priority was to protect the United States and its allies against the “growing threat” presented by the DPRK.
The “path to dialogue still remains an option” for Pyongyang, Ju added.
Delegations from about 20 countries spoke at the four-hour U.N. session, including the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
The DPRK has pursued its defensive weapons programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and successfully tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. It also threatened to fire intermediate range ballistic missiles close to Guam earlier this month.
Pyongyang affirms that its recent acts are in response to U.S. hostility, such as military exercises with South Korea this week. It denounced the exercises as a “rehearsal for war.”
“The ongoing military adventure would certainly add gasoline to the fire, driving the current tense situation to further deterioration,” Ju warned.
The United States and South Korea began the long-planned exercises on Monday, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, which allies claim are “defensive.”
The drills involve tens of thousands of troops as well as computer simulations designed to prepare for war with DPRK.
This post originally ran on teleSUR.