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North Korea to build up nuclear potential for self-defense — Foreign Ministry

June 15, 2016, 19:47 UTC+3 PYONGYANG

North Korean diplomat was speaking in response to the US just-published plan for a pre-emptive air strike against North Korea

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© AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

PYONGYANG, June 15. /TASS/. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be strengthening its nuclear potential both quantitatively and qualitatively for self-defense purposes, the DPRK Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said.

The diplomat was speaking in response to the United States’ just-published plan for a pre-emptive air strike against North Korea, which mentions such targets as the Yongbyon nuclear research center, strategic ballistic missiles bombers, shipyards for building submarines and other military facilities.

The United States’ open discussion of this extremely provocative action plan, authored by a US consulting company, "indicates that Washington’s aggressive ambitions have reached the extreme phase."

Pyongyang pointed to the fact that this plan was made public ahead of a major US-South Korean military exercise due in August this year.

"Aggressive preparations by the United States are fresh proof of the importance of the Workers' Party of Korea’s policy of parallel economic development and efforts to strengthen the nuclear deterrence force," the diplomat said.

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula soared after North Korea on January 6 staged a nuclear test and on February 7 launched a space rocket carrying a satellite in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. In response, the UN Security Council unanimously voted for a resolution to tighten sanctions against North Korea. Pyongyang refused to recognize the resolution. It replied that the rocket launch was made for the purpose of peaceful exploration of outer space, while the nuclear test was made for self-defense in view of aggressive US policies.

This year Seoul has repeatedly dismissed Pyongyang’s proposal for starting a dialog at the military level for the sake of achieving a settlement. South Korea argues that North Korea should take denuclearization steps first.

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