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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

North Korea not to surrender nuclear might under US threats: Official

Iran Press TV

Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:56AM

North Korea says it has strengthened its nuclear might due to Washington's pressure and threats, stressing that Pyongyang cannot give up on its nuclear and missile tests with the 'US gun on its head.'

Han Song-ryol, the director-general of the department of US affairs at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, made the comments after the UN Security Council sharply criticized Pyongyang for its recent test of a mid-range missile.

The North Korean official said his country is now a major nuclear power, and that Washington can expect more nuclear tests and missile launches as long as it attempts to force Pyongyang's collapse through a policy of pressure and punishment, AP reported on Friday.

"It's the United States that caused this issue," said Song-ryol.

"They have to stop their military threats, sanctions and economic pressure. Without doing so, it's like they are telling us to reconcile while they are putting a gun to our forehead."

Last week, Pyongyang test-fired two Musudan mid-range ballistic missiles, which are reported to have a theoretical range of between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometers, making them capable of reaching any part of South Korea, Japan and the US territory of Guam in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

On Friday, the Security Council slammed the missile tests, saying they were in "grave violation" of the country's international obligations under five separate resolutions dating back to 2006, which ban all ballistic missile activity by North Korea.

However, the North Korean Foreign Ministry rejected the criticism, saying the US is pushing the Korean Peninsula toward an "uncontrollable extreme phase."

"This is an unreasonable deed of turning black into white," said a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman in a statement cited by state news agency KCNA on Friday.

The statement further blamed the United States for driving tensions between the neighbors by deploying weapons to rival South Korea.

Pyongyang's new tests showed significant technological progress in the North's missile capabilities, with a US think thank saying the tests could facilitate the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland by 2020.

They were swiftly censured by Washington, Tokyo and Seoul as a "provocation" and a violation of the UN resolutions.

The 15-member council called for the sanctions to be redoubled after holding an emergency meeting over the tests.

Pyongyang has been under numerous UN sanctions over its nuclear tests and missile activities. It was recently placed under the toughest UN sanctions in two decades.

North Korea has pledged not to relinquish its nuclear power unless the United States ends its hostile policy and dissolves the US-led military command in South Korea.

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