Pyongyang Would not Budge an Inch in Pursuit of Stronger Nuclear Weapons

Pyongyang declared that it does not plan to “budge an inch” in its pursuit of stronger nuclear weapons, Newsweek reported citing the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency. North Korea also said that it has no interest in holding talks with the United States, even without preconditions about its nuclear program, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently proposed, but later changed his mind and said that North Korea must earn its way back to the table.

In the meantime, North Korea’s state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, accused Tillerson and the United States that they are trying to shift responsibility for the heightened tensions between the two countries. According to the paper, U.S. wanted to set the tone for manipulating new UN Security Council resolutions that may include a maritime blockade if they did not accept dialogue aimed at discussing the abandonment of their nuclear weapons.

“There is no change in our stance that we will not budge an inch in our march toward strengthening our nuclear force,” the paper wrote.

Last month North Korea launched its most powerful ballistic missile, which reached an altitude of 2,800 miles and traveled for about 50 minutes before crashing into the Sea of Japan. The test was part of North Korea’s effort to acquire technology that would allow it to launch a nuclear weapon at the U.S. mainland.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials said that any delay in joint military drills with the United States would depend on North Korea’s behavior during the 2018 Winter Olympics. South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants to soothe relations with China and the North before the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. He suggested that he was prepared to postpone the drills with the United States. The North thinks that the drills are preparation for war, while China is angry about the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system by the South, Reuters reports.

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