North Korea Thursday said it has no choice but to “counter nuclear with nuclear” over the “hostile policy” of the United States, which it blames for failed bilateral talks.
“In order to eliminate the nuclear threats from the U.S., the DPRK government made all possible efforts either through dialogue or in resort to the international law, but all ended in vain,” North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Institute for Disarmament and Peace said in a report, according to NK News, a U.S. website based in South Korea. “The option left was only one, and that was to counter nuclear with nuclear.”
The statement, released by state-run media, was timed to commemorate the start of the Korean War 70 years ago.
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The government announced plans to build up its weapons arsenal “to contain the persistent nuclear threats from the U.S.,” according to NK News.
North Korea’s announcement came just days after the country said it was suspending “military action plans” against South Korea after it bombed a liason office used for talks between the two countries in a North Korean border city and, in response, South Korea’s Ministry of Defense said it would keep “resolute military posture.”
The United States left Korea in 1953 when fighting ended after a ceasefire and armistice agreement, but, because no peace treaty was signed, the war technically continues.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump have held two nuclear summits and Trump became the first U.S. president to set foot into the closed-off country last year, but the talks have garnered no tangible results on Korean denuclearization.
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In March, the country said despite Kim and Trump’s “special personal relations,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s pressure to give up nuclear weapons led North Korea to abandon dialogue with the U.S.