N. Korea will ‘never step back an inch’ from nuclear arms development – diplomat to UN

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
By Paul Martin

22 Aug, 2017

A North Korean envoy to a UN disarmament forum has refused to negotiate its nuclear program, accusing the US and South Korea of using joint military drills to carry out “an aggressive war scenario” and “a secret operation” against the North’s leadership.

“The DPRK will never place its self-defense nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table or step back from the path it took to bolster the national nuclear force,” a North Korean diplomat stated at the UN disarmament forum in Geneva, as cited by Reuters.

The envoy accused the US and its ally in the region, South Korea, of worsening the situation on the Korean Peninsula, saying that the ongoing joint military drills “would certainly add fuel to the fire.”

Pyongyang considers the Ulchi Freedom Guardian maneuvers as “an aggressive war scenario,” targeting North Korea and its leadership, according to the envoy.

“As long as the US hostile policy and nuclear threat remains unchallenged, the DPRK will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table,” Ju Yong-сhol, a North Korean envoy, stated at the UN disarmament forum on Tuesday.

Ju also said that the bolstering of North Korea’s nuclear program “is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defense in the face of such apparent and real threats.”

The North has repeatedly called on the US to refrain from military exercises which could “ignite a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula at any cost,” according to the North’s state news agency KCNA.

“The situation on the Korean Peninsula has plunged into a critical phase due to the reckless north-targeted war racket of the war maniacs,” KCNA reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang has again threatened to strike the US base in Guam, which it earlier promised to attack if “provoked” by Washington.

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