North Korea vows to pursue nuclear arms amid US threat

al jazeera 5 hours ago

North Korea vows to pursue nuclear arms amid US threat

Pyongyang envoy to UN warns his country is developing ‘pre-emptive strike capabilities with nuclear forces’.

North Korean diplomat Choe Myong-nam, left, is seen at a press conference in this 2015 photo [Mike Segar/Reuters]

North Korea will pursue “acceleration” of its nuclear and missile programmes including developing a “pre-emptive first-strike capability”, a diplomat from Pyongyang warned on Tuesday.

Choe Myong-nam, deputy ambassador of the North Korean mission to the United Nations in Geneva, told Reuters news agency that US threats of increased sanctions would not phase the country.

“I think this is stemming from the visit by the Secretary of State [Rex Tillerson] to Japan, South Korea and China… We of course are not afraid of any act like that,” Choe said.

North Korea says it’s not afraid of US military strike

“Even prohibition of the international transactions system, the global financial system, this kind of thing is part of their system that will not frighten us or make any difference.”

He called existing sanctions “heinous and inhumane”.

North Korea has been under sanctions for “half a century”, but the communist state survives by placing an emphasis on juche or “self-sufficiency”, he said.

His country wants an international forum set up to examine the “legality and legitimacy of the sanctions regime”.

Choe denounced joint annual military exercises currently being carried out by the United States and South Korea on the divided peninsula, and criticised remarks by Tillerson during his talks with regional allies last week.

“All he was talking about is for the United States to take military actions on DPRK (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Choe said.

North Korea rejects claims by Washington and Seoul that the military drills are defensive. They involve strategic nuclear bombers and a nuclear submarine Columbus that recently entered South Korean ports, he said.

“In the light of such huge military forces involved in the joint military exercises, we have no other choice but to continue with our full acceleration of the nuclear programmes and missile programmes,” said Choe.

“It is because of these hostile activities on the part of the United States and South Korea we strengthen our national defence capability, as well as pre-emptive strike capabilities with nuclear forces as a centrepiece.”

Trump says Kim Jong-un ‘acting very, very badly’

He declined to give technical details of North Korea’s latest rocket engine test on Sunday – seen as a possible prelude to a partial inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) flight – calling it a great historical event that would lead to “fruitful outcomes”.

“I can tell you for sure that the inter-continental ballistic rockets of the DPRK will be launched at any time and at any place as decided by our supreme leadership,” Choe said, recalling leader Kim Jong-un’s pledge in a New Year’s address.

Analysts say North Korea has likely mastered the technology to power the different stages of an ICBM and may show it off soon, but is likely still a long way from being able to hit the mainland United States.

“The United States has been talking about launching pre-emptive strikes at North Korea and we have been prepared to deter, to counter-attack such attacks,” Choe said.

“We would utilise every possible means in our hands and the inter-continental ballistic rocket is one of them.”

Are sanctions against North Korea working? – Inside Story

 

Source: Reuters news agency

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This entry was posted in US - North Korea relationship and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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