PYONGYANG: North Korea vowed Saturday to never give up its nuclear weapons as long as the United States and its allies continue their “blackmail and war drills” at its doorstep.
The hermit kingdom’s official state media, Korean Central News Agency, reported the communist nation’s often repeated stance. The media outlet also reviewed the country’s major nuclear weapons and missile tests this year.
The isolated nation conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date in September and launched three intercontinental missiles into the sea in July and November, indicating that it is closer than ever to gaining a nuclear arsenal that could viably target the mainland U.S.
The numerous tests have led to more international sanctions and pressure on North Korea amid concerns that the window for stopping or rolling back its nuclear program is closing rapidly.
The U.S. and South Korea have repeated they won’t negotiate with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) unless it was willing to discuss curbing its nuclear weapons and missile program.
KCNA said in its report that the isolated nation had taken steps for “bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force” in the face of a continued “nuclear threat and blackmail and war drills” by the United States and its vassal forces.
North Korea often lashes out at the annual military drills between the United States and South Korea, which the allies describe as defensive in nature.