Won’t give up nukes if US keeps up ‘black­mail’, says North Korea

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD - AGEN­CIES/

North Korea on Satur­day said that it will never give up its nu­clear weapons as long as the United States and its al­lies con­tinue their "black­mail and war drills" at its doorstep.

The North's of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency took the oft-re­peated stance as it re­viewed the coun­try's ma­jor nu­clear weapons and mis­sile tests this year.

North Korea con­ducted its most pow­er­ful nu­clear test to date in Septem­ber and launched three in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles into the sea in July and Novem­ber, in­di­cat­ing that it is closer than ever to gain­ing a nu­clear arse­nal that could vi­ably tar­get the main­land United States.

The ag­gres­sive tests have led to more in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions and pres­sure on North Korea amid con­cerns that the win­dow for stop­ping or rolling back its nu­clear pro­gram is clos­ing rapidly. The US and South Korea have main­tained that they won't ne­go­ti­ate with the North un­less it is will­ing to dis­cuss curb­ing its nu­clear weapons and mis­sile pro­gramme, re­ports AP. In its re­port on Sun­day, KCNA said North Korea had taken steps for "bol­ster­ing the ca­pa­bil­i­ties for self­de­fense and pre-emp­tive at­tacks with nu­clear force" in the face of a con­tin­ued "nu­clear threat and black­mail and war drills" by the United States and its "vas­sal forces."

The North of­ten lashes out at the an­nual mil­i­tary drills be­tween the United States and South Korea, which the al­lies de­scribe as de­fen­sive in na­ture. KCNA ac­cused Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump of em­ploy­ing un­prece­dented hos­tile poli­cies against North Korea and threat­en­ing it with talks of pre-emp­tive strikes. It de­scribed North Korea as an "un­de­ni­able new strate­gic state and nu­clear power."


Mo­torists in­stal snow chains on their car tyres on Satur­day, in Beau­fort, cen­tral eastern France, as they make their way to ski re­sorts in the French Alps.

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