North Korea vows to expand nuclear arsenal in defiance of US warnings | News | DW | 29.06.2017
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North Korea vows to expand nuclear arsenal in defiance of US warnings

North Korea's UN envoy has warned that Pyongyang will continue building up its nuclear program, regardless of sanctions. The Trump administration has repeatedly raised the prospect of conflict with the North.

North Korea Deputy United Nations Ambassador Kim In Ryong speaking at UN headquarters (picture-alliance/AP Photo/B. Matthews)

N. Korea's Deputy UN Ambassador Kim In Ryong speaks at the UN headquarters

North Korea's UN ambassador, Kim In Ryong, denounced "aggressive" US military maneuvers off the Korean peninsula, telling the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the maneuvers had brought the world closer to the brink of nuclear war.

In a rare appearance before the Security Council, Kim accused the US of pursuing its "dream of world domination" with its military presence in Asia.

Read more: Preemptive strike against North Korea not an option, says former Pentagon chief Perry

The people of North Korea, he claimed, had decided to respond in kind to defend their sovereignty. "No matter what others say, whatever sanctions, pressure and military attack may follow, we will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces, which was chosen to defend the sovereignty of the country and the rights to national existence," Kim said.

North Korea has carried out a number of nuclear and ballistic missile tests in the past year, ratcheting up tensions with its regional neighbors and the US.

In response, the Security Council has imposed a series of sanctions against the North for its "destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance." The latest round of sanctions have gotten backing from China, North Korea's sole ally.

Pyongyang's UN envoy has boycotted all meetings dealing with sanctions against the North. 

Pyongyang dismisses calls for talks

The North Korean envoy also accused the US of attaching "unjust" conditions to its offer of holding talks with the reclusive state.

"The US kept discussing 'dialogue' even at this moment" when the UN adopted sanctions against the North, Kim said. "But it does not make sense to profess about dialogue with unjust preconditions attached and by applying maximum pressure."

US President Donald Trump had opened the door to such talks last month, saying it would be an "honor"  to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances."

Read more: US urges China to pressure North Korea to rein in weapons progams

Since then, however, the Trump administration has increasingly raised the prospect of conflict with Pyongyang. Earlier this week, Trump told reporters during a joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the threat posed by the Kim regime needed to be "dealt with rapidly."

The president had placed his hopes on China to rein in North Korea. However, patience in Washington is wearing thin over what the Trump administration regards as a lack of action from Beijing.

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dm/gsw (AP, AFP)

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