North Korea vows to bolster war deterrence
Pyongyang (North Korea): North Korea vowed on Monday to strengthen its defences amid concerns the country may conduct a nuclear test as a follow-up to last month`s long-range rocket launch.
Citing US hostility, Pyongyang`s Foreign Ministry said in a memorandum that North Korea will "continue to strengthen its deterrence against all forms of war."
The memorandum carried by state media did not say what action North Korea would take to defend itself. However, North Korea has claimed the right to build atomic weapons to protect itself from the United States, which stations more than 28,000 troops in South Korea.
North Korea sent a satellite into space on December 12 aboard a long-range rocket, a launch that the US and its allies have criticized as a test of banned ballistic missile technology.
In 2006 and 2009, Pyongyang conducted atomic tests after being slapped with UN Security Council condemnation and sanctions for similar launches of long-range rockets.
North Korea`s Foreign Ministry urged the Washington to dismantle the US-led UN Command, which oversees an armistice signed at the close of the Korean War in 1953.
It accused the US of trying to turn the UN Command into a NATO-like regional military bloc.
"Whether the US immediately dismantles the UN Command or not will serve as the acid stone in deciding whether the US will maintain or not its anti-(North Korea) hostile policy," said the memorandum, which was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
The Korean War armistice was never been replaced with a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula in a technical state of war 60 years later.
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