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North Korea defies UN, vows to strengthen nuclear capability

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said the country's nuclear weapons were a 'righteous self-defence measure' against US threats Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, United States Sep 24, 2016, 04.44 AM (IST)
North Korea's foreign minister on Friday said North Korea will continue to strengthen its "national nuclear armed forces in both quantity and quality" despite UN sanctions. 

Ri Yong Ho during his address to the United Nations General Assembly said the country's nuclear weapons are a "a righteous self-defence measure" against "constant nuclear threats of the United States".

"Going nuclear-armed is the policy of our state," Yong Ho said.

North Korea is the "most dangerous hotspot, which can even ignite the outbreak of nuclear war" and the blame will lie "squarely" with the US, the foreign minister said.

"As long as there exists a nuclear-weapon state in hostile relations with the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), our national security and peace on the Korean peninsula can be defended only with reliable nuclear deterrence," he said. 

Ri also said the UN Security Council's decision to impose sanctions was only "covering up the high-handedness and arbitrariness of the United States".

The country conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test on September 9, igniting global ire and condemnation. This has led to talks on imposing new UN sanctions against the isolated country. 

No negotiations on THAAD

Daniel Russel, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said there will be no negotiations regarding the THAAD anti-missile system, which is set to be deployed in South Korea, as part of the UN sanctions agreement.  
"No. The two countries have made a decision," he told Reuters.

Although China remains opposed to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, it has agreed to work with the UN on imposing tough sanctions on North Korea. 

According to The Diplomat, THAAD is particularly well-suited to intercept and destroy short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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