Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A pro-Pyongyang newspaper in Japan says North Korea is likely to continue developing conventional weapons even if it resumes denuclearization talks.
The Choson Sinbo said Wednesday Pyongyang is likely to "reinforce its defense capabilities" even if steps toward denuclearization are taken.
The paper, published by the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongryon, frequently reflects the views of the Kim Jong Un regime.
In April, during a plenary meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, North Korea declared the "byungjin line," the simultaneous pursuit of economic and nuclear weapons development, will continue to be a major policy, the Choson Sinbo said.
The paper defended North Korea policy, saying there are no provisions in inter-Korea agreements or with declarations signed with the United States that prevent North Korea from exercising the right of sovereign states.
"No clause in the North Korea-U.S. joint statement nor the North-South declaration bans the exercise of the right to defense, which is a just right held by a sovereign state."
The Choson Sinbo also said Pyongyang needs to "appropriately respond to obsolete military provocations" potentially from the United States and South Korea.
"Maintaining the military balance surrounding the Korean Peninsula holds special importance, especially at a time when denuclearization talks, which are directly related to a change in security environment, have started," the paper said, according to Yonhap.
North Korea continues to claim the South has wronged the regime in the area of human rights.
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the Confederation of Lawyers of Asia said in a report on Wednesday they were informed the North Korean waitresses who defected from China were abducted to South Korea in 2016. The groups had visited Pyongyang last week.
The abduction claim has been disputed in the South and among human rights activists, who say the women chose to go to South Korea.