North Korea excoriated the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his stand against Pyongyang’s human rights abuses. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- North Korea said it is capable of striking the U.S. mainland with missiles and invited Secretary of State John Kerry to verify the country's human rights conditions for himself.
"The reckless nuclear blackmail of the United States has pushed us to retain a nuclear deterrent," Pyongyang said in its statement on KCNA, adding, "[U.S.] missile threats have given birth to our powerful set of weapons."
North Korea said that the United States' hostile policy to "strike Pyongyang" also is to blame for the development of its intercontinental strike capability and that North Korea's military-first politics and self-developed nuclear weapons are "justifiable millions of times."
"The United States has dragged the South into its strategic nuclear strike tactics, and with blatant threats and intimidation, are raising tensions and provoking an invasion of North Korea and nuclear war," Pyongyang said in its statement, adding were it not for its nuclear deterrent, "We would have been drawn into conflict, like the Middle East."
In a separate statement on Uriminzokkiri, North Korea excoriated the U.S. secretary of state for his stand against Pyongyang's human rights abuses.
John Kerry had welcomed the U.N. Security Council's discussion of North Korea human rights and had said, "We believe it is critical to shine a light on the human rights violations in [North Korea] and we will continue to do so."
On Sunday, North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in response that if John Kerry "has intact legs, and if he isn't blind or deaf, he should verify for himself" the human rights situation in North Korea, South Korean outlet Newsis reported.
Pyongyang added Kerry was engaging in nothing more than "shameless sophistry that is misleading proselytization," and that North Korean people lead happy lives in a socialist republic.
"We are a civilization living in joy," North Korea said, "We do not condone anyone who tries to hurt our dignity and interests."
Last week the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution that condemns North Korea's human rights abuses and called for the violations to be referred to the International Criminal Court.