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N. Korea says no plans to give up nuclear capabilities
SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Tuesday that it has no plans to unilaterally give up its nuclear capabilities in the face of ceaseless threats from the United States.

   The stance announced in a article carried by the Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said Washington needs to first end its belligerent attitude and claims that the North poses security risks.

   "Under the condition of ceaseless nuclear threats by Washington, Pyongyang will not unilaterally abandon its war deterrence," the paper monitored in Seoul said.

   North Korea's nuclear weapons are the ultimate defender of national interest and a trusted shield to defend peace, the media outlet said. The communist country despite international pressure detonated its third nuclear device in February and launched two long-range rockets last year.

   The daily, which effectively reflects the views of the WPK and its leadership, then said that it is the United States that had triggered a global nuclear arms race and contributed to the spread of atomic weapons, not North Korea. the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal must be the first to be viewed as a destabilizing force in the region, it said.

   The position comes just days after Pyongyang's special envoy visited Beijing and said the communist country will return to the stalled six-party talks that were set up to deal with the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

   Choe Ryong-hae, the General Political Bureau of North Korea's People's Army, while in the Chinese capital promised to engage in dialogue with all "interested parties." The Chinese official, on the other hand, made clear to Choe that China's real goal is denuclearization.
The envoy, however, did not respond to calls by Chinese leaders, including its President Xi Jinping, for a nuclear-free peninsula.

   The paper's view was echoed by Radio Pyongyang, which argued it was Washington that fueled tensions by permitting the sale of advanced drones to South Korea.

   The broadcaster said actions taken by the U.S. justified the North's efforts to strengthen its country's status as a nuclear power and to expand its deterrence capabilities.

   The latest report comes as the National Defense Commission said Saturday that it is because of Pyongyang's calls to simultaneously build up its nuclear arms and its economy that it was able to deter U.S. aggression.

   The goal of attaining economic growth and nuclear capabilities was announced by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un earlier in the year.

   yonngong@yna.co.kr
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