PYONGYANG, June 25 (Itar-Tass) — The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will strengthen nuclear deterrent forces for the purposes of self-defence "until the United States ceases pursuing a hostile policy with regard to the Republic", says a statement made by a Foreign Ministry official and circulated by the Korean Central News Agency on Monday. This stand of Pyongyang, the diplomat emphasized, "enables it to avert war, and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula".
The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued the statement in reply to the holding of one-day large-scale exercises with combat firing by the United States and the Republic of Korea near the Demilitarized Zone on June 22. The exercises were timed to coincide with the 62nd anniversary of the start of the 1950-'53 Korean War.
According to the North Korean Foreign Ministry official, during the exercises the US and South Korea "staged a militarily and politically motivated provocation, using the state flag of the DPRK as a target".
"Such heedless actions were a glaring demonstration of Washington's hostile policy with regard to Pyongyang, the policy prompted by striving to seize the whole of the Korean Peninsula," the DPRK Foreign Ministry official believes.
However, military and technological superiority "is no longer a monopoly of the US". The days are gone when Washington could "threaten the DPRK with nuclear weapons and blackmail it," the diplomat warned.