North Korea: U.S. demand we give up nukes shows 'escapist mentality'

By Elizabeth Shim  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:15 AM
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SEOUL, March 22 (UPI) -- North Korea suggested the United States and South Korea are engaging in a fantasy when they demand that it give up its nuclear weapons.

"The United States and its South Korean puppet are conducting military exercises on the peninsula and these various drills are the fundamental driving forces that are calling for war," North Korea said in a statement issued by KCNA, Pyongyang's news agency.

North Korea said there is no guarantee that "total war" couldn't strike the peninsula, and that if war is declared, it could quickly escalate into a "world war" involving other nuclear powers.

"If the United States does not break out of this way of thinking, there will be no progress in resolving the problems of the Korean peninsula," North Korea said.

KCNA also blamed the United States for continuing its "hostile policy" that includes a demand that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons first, before other treaties are signed.

Pyongyang accused Washington of "sophistry" and said U.S. demands for denuclearization were a sign of an "escapist mentality," adding that its arsenal of nuclear weapons that include a "hydrogen bomb" and other forms of deterrence have allowed it to defend its sovereignty.

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