North Korea says nuclear development 'permanent'

Pyongyang’s state newspaper defended the policy as a deterrent against the United States’ military "threats."
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Jan. 3, 2017 at 9:23 AM
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SEOUL, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated Tuesday the country's policy of developing nuclear weapons while simultaneously pursuing economic growth remains unchanged.

Two days after Kim Jong Un had said in his televised New Year's speech Pyongyang is ready to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, state media announced the country's policy of "Byongjin" is a permanent feature, South Korean news agency Newsis reported.

The statement appears to have been issued for propaganda purposes and to muster support for Kim's ambitions to raise North Korea's profile as a "nuclear power," according to the press report.

"North Korea's resolve is always soon placed into practice," Pyongyang's statement read. "[Our] resolve is always truthful and scientific, and must be placed in action at all costs...the Party's path of Byongjin must be permanently held in hand, and not as a temporary countermeasure that copes with a sudden change in the state of affairs."

The North Korean newspaper also stated Kim's speech pointed out the "pivotal" role of nuclear power in the face of the "nuclear threat and intimidation of the United States and its followers."

"We will continue to reinforce [nuclear power] for defense purposes," Pyongyang said in statement.

The Rodong article also linked nuclear weapons development to the North Korean people's capacity to "live with ten thousand blessings in a socialist state."

The weapons represent the "most just, scientific route" for the society, the statement read.

On New Year's Day, Kim had vowed to develop Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal and to continue the policy until the United States stops military drills in South Korea.

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