North Korea says it won't take unilateral steps towards nuclear disarmament
Pyongyang deems it unnecessary to limit the enlargement of "the nuclear deterrence forces" against the backdrop of the escalating external nuclear threat.
"Increasing nuclear threat from outside will only compel the DPRK to bolster up its nuclear deterrent to cope with this. It will not be bound to anything in doing so," says a statement of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's spokesman obtained by Interfax on Thursday.
"At present there exist only physical moves on the peninsula where there are neither peace nor stability nor dialogue. This is attributable to the U.S. nuclear threat and blackmail and sanctions against the DPRK," he said.
"Action for action remains a basic principle for finding a solution to the nuclear issue on the peninsula and the DPRK will, therefore, not unilaterally move first," the spokesman noted.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry pointed that one should not expect unilateral steps towards nuclear disarmament from Pyongyang under these circumstances.
"The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the invariable aim of the policy of the DPRK government, does not mean the unilateral nuclear dismantlement on the part of the DPRK side. This is the process of making the peninsula a nuclear-free zone on the basis of completely removing the substantial nuclear threats posed to the peninsula from outside on the principle of simultaneous actions," the statement runs.
The statement responded to Western media reports alleging the resumed activity at the Nyongbyon nuclear site whose operations were frozen in 2007.
"The U.S. is trying to make the public convinced that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula precisely means the dismantlement of DPRK's nuclear program, while making the sophism that the resumption of the operations of the nuclear facilities in Nyongbyon is a violation of international obligations and commitments. This is aimed at covering up its crimes and shift the responsibility onto the DPRK," the statement said.
The ministry supported the premise of intensified U.S. military activity aimed at oppressing the DPRK and escalating military provocations with the reference to the U.S.-South Korean strategy of deterrence, which implied preventive nuclear strikes against North Korea.
It also said that a U.S. aircraft carrier with nuclear weapons aboard was engaged in U.S.-South Korean naval exercises, in particular, in the Yellow Sea.
The ministry said that the current situation resembled the recent events, in which the United States used the North Korean peaceful space mission and the underground nuclear test, which was carried out with the purpose of self-defense, as a pretext for UN Security Council sanctions, which were followed by the joint military exercises, Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, involving strategic bombers and submarines carrying nuclear weapons that put the Korean Peninsula on the brink of a war.
"The ever-mounting nuclear threat and blackmail by the U.S. and its moves for making preparations for a war of aggression are a serious encroachment upon the DPRK's sovereignty and right to exist," Pyongyang stressed.