SEOUL, June 7 (UPI) -- North Korea defended its policy of nuclear weapons development as a "strategic choice for peace" but vowed retaliation if South Korea went ahead and participated in the Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii.
In an editorial titled "Secure guidelines for the republic's foreign policy ideology and principles," North Korea stated the country had reached its "highest strategic position."
"We adhere to our standing as a nuclear weapons state based on unwavering revolutionary principles," read the statement that was published in state newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday.
"No matter how good or righteous, if [a country] does not have a means to defend itself, it becomes the object of sacrifice before stronger powers," the editorial read. "We retain nuclear weapons by strategic choice, to not use them on temporary impulse, but to protect our security and dignity, for peace and justice."
North Korea also stated the country is working on reconciling the policies of "independent North Korea" with the requirements of the international community as a "responsible nuclear power."
Kim Jong Un has previously emphasized the state's intention to not use nuclear weapons unless provoked, but the parameters of provocation are unclear.
North Korea has previously vowed a physical settling of scores for various U.S. and South Korea policies, including a refusal to sign a peace treaty.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri issued a statement, this time condemning South Korea's decision to join the United States and Japan in participating in a biennial military exercise in Hawaii.
RIMPAC with South Korea participation, North Korea stated, is a drill that divides a unitary people.
"It is an unforgivable provocation," Pyongyang said.