North Korea is 'Proud' US Feels Threatened By Its Nuclear Weapons
A top Pyongyang official has claimed to US media that North Korea is a nuclear power the West cannot ignore.
The director-general of the department of US affairs at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, Han Song Ryol, announced on Wednesday that, as long as the US continues its intimidating sanctions policy, Washington should prepare for more nuclear tests and missile launches by North Korea.
"It's the United States that caused this issue. 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," Han Song said, in his first interview with Associated Press since he took office in 2013.
Washington, Tokyo and Seoul earlier condemned the launching of two ballistic medium-range missiles by Pyongyang on June 22, observing that the tests violated United Nations resolutions. North Korea, however, considers the missile tests proof-positive of technological successes.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that provocative moves by Pyongyang embolden the determination of the international community to counter North Korea's actions, including through sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.
"We intend to raise our concerns at the UN to bolster the international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these provocative actions." John Kirby said in a statement.
Han argued that North Korea had no choice but to enhance its military deterrent, asserting that the instigator of the conflict, in this case, is America.
"The real provocation is coming from the United States… How can my country stand by and do nothing?" he said, noting that the US recently deployed attack submarines and strategic bombers in South Korea capable of dropping nuclear weapons on the DPRK. The two states conducted joint drills in the beginning of the year training for precision air strikes on strategic locations in North Korea.
"My country is a nuclear state. In the past, my country has been threatened by the United States with its nuclear weapons, but I can now say proudly that the United States is being threatened by my country's nuclear weapons," Han said.
The DPRK foreign ministry head stated that dialogue with the US is possible, but depends solely on the US renouncing what he suggested was its hostile policy, and withdrawing troops from South Korea.
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