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Saturday, January 16, 2016, 18:42

DPRK says US should recognize it as nuclear weapons state

By Agencies

SEOUL — The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) reiterated Saturday that its hydrogen bomb test was a "self-defense measure" and the United States should recognize it as a nuclear weapons state.

In a statement issued by the DPRK's foreign ministry and carried by its official newspaper Rodong Sinmun, Pyongyang emphasized again that its H-bomb test was aimed at defending the country's sovereignty and right to live, rather than exacerbate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The statement said that the DPRK's primary tasks for this year are economic development and the improvement of people's livelihood, both of which require a climate of peace today "more than any time." The statement echoed the words of top leader Kim Jong Un in his 2016 New Year Address.

The DPRK is "channeling all its efforts into the building of an economic power and feels no need to provoke anyone," it added.

"Now the US should be accustomed to the status of the DPRK as a nuclear weapons state whether it likes or not," the statement said.

According to the statement, all proposals offered to the United States are still valid, including a nuclear testing moratorium in exchange for a halt to joint military drills by Seoul and Washington and the conclusion of a peace treaty to replace the armistice agreement signed in 1953.

It accused the United States of persistently hyping up the DPRK's actions as provocations.

The statement stressed that the DPRK will bolster its nuclear capabilities to deal with US threats, but "it will not deliberately use nuclear weapons."

Meanwhile, senior diplomats from the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea concurred Saturday on the need for a strong response in the UN Security Council to DPRK's ecent nuclear test.

US Assistant Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Japanese and ROK counterparts said Saturday that a failure to send a clear message would risk further provocations by Pyongyang.

The three said they agreed on the need for early adoption of the strongest resolution possible. But they did not give specifics of their talks, saying the discussions on a UN resolution were ongoing.

On Jan 6, the DPRK announced that it has successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test. The move immediately incurred a chorus of international condemnations, with some also expressing suspicion about the announcement.

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