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North Korea stands by nuclear program

Feb. 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- North Korea's state-run media said Thursday it would be a mistake for Pyongyang to retreat from the progress made in its nuclear program.

North Korean conducted its third underground nuclear test Feb. 13, roughly two months after orbiting a satellite using a long-range rocket.

The U.N. Security Council expressed concern over the test, stressing North Korean obligations to keep the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

The official Korean Central News Agency commented Thursday that abandoning nuclear work is bad policy.

"The tragic consequences in those countries which abandoned halfway their nuclear programs, yielding to the high-handed practices and pressure of the U.S. in recent years, clearly prove that (North Korea) was very far-sighted and just," the commentary read.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Washington reported this week that information from satellite imagery of North Korean nuclear facilities suggest Pyongyang could be preparaing for a fourth test.

U.S. and South Korean forces have plans for joint military exercises in the region next month. A North Korean diplomat told a disarmament committee in Geneva this week the nuclear test was an act of self defense.

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