Nuclear North Korea congress thumbs nose at UN

North Korea says it will strengthen its defensive nuclear weapons capability, a decision adopted in defiance of UN resolutions at a rare congress of its ruling Workers' Party.

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA (Reuters) - It closed in much the same way as it began, a tightly choreographed ceremony marking the end of the Worker's Party congress, the first in over three decades.

For North Korea's young leader Kim Jong Un it was an opportunity to be seen as the man in charge, using the four-day event to consolidate his power.

And after being promoted to 'party chairman', it appears that's just what he did.

But the congress was also an opportunity for the secretive country to project power to the rest of the world.

Bold statements were made during the meeting, including a declaration that North Korea is a nuclear state, and announcing in defiance of UN resolutions, that it will strengthen its defensive nuclear weapons capability.

But Pyongyang also disavowed using nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is infringed first by others.

It also reiterated earlier calls to ease tensions with South Korea.

Still, South Korea, technically still at war with the north since their conflict in the 1950's, has dismissed those conciliatory gestures, condemning Pyongyang's claim as a nuclear weapons state.