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North Korea vows to bolster nuclear programme

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 16:11

Pyongyang: North Korea has intensified its war of words against the United States by pledging to bolster its nuclear programme and take unspecified counter-measures unless Washington eases diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

According to state run media, North Korea accused the US of persisting in ‘moves to ratchet up sanctions’.

Last week, world leaders condemned the North’s failed rocket launch in April and warned that more nuclear tests or launches would bring tougher sanctions.

North Korea, in a statement on Tuesday, however, said it would ‘continue to legitimately’ push for its right ‘to launch satellites,’ The BBC reports

“We had access to nuclear deterrence for self-defence because of the hostile policy of the US to stifle the DPRK by force and we will expand and bolster it non-stop as long as this hostile policy goes on,” the state media quoted a spokesman, as saying.

“If the US persists in its moves to ratchet up sanctions and pressure upon us despite our peace-loving efforts, we will be left with no option but to take counter-measures for self-defence,” the spokesman added.

The statement comes amid increasing tension in the region after the North’s long-range rocket launch last month.

The launch came shortly after Washington and Pyongyang agreed on a deal to swap food aid for a moratorium on nuclear and ballistic missile activities.


First Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 16:11
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