North committed to nuclear push

The launching of the Hwansong-15 missile which is capable of reaching all parts of the US, taken on Nov 29, 2017.
The launching of the Hwansong-15 missile which is capable of reaching all parts of the US, taken on Nov 29, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL • North Korea will remain committed to its nuclear development next year, said a report released yesterday by state-run news agency KCNA.

"Do not expect any change in its policy," said the report as quoted by CNN's website. "Its entity as an invincible power can neither be undermined nor be stamped out."

"The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet," it added.

North Korea, barred from developing missiles and a nuclear weapons capability under UN resolutions, says it needs the arsenal for self-defence against the "hostile" US.

CNN said that the report, titled No Force Can Prevail Over Independence And Justice, also provided a timeline of North Korea's alleged 2017 nuclear weapons achievements, mostly focused on possible US engagement.

North Korea will "continue bolstering the capabilities for self-defence and preemptive attack with the nuclear force as the pivot as long as the US and its vassal forces persist in nuclear threat", the report said, with North Korea also boasting of its new capability to strike "the heart of the US" and its new "status" as a "world-class nuclear power".

Pyongyang on Nov 29 launched what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Japan said probably fell within its exclusive economic zone.

North Korea said it will "deal with the US' most ferocious declaration of war with fire, surely and definitely".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 31, 2017, with the headline 'North committed to nuclear push'. Print Edition | Subscribe