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NKorea's Kim praises military amid nuclear standoff

world Updated: Jun 14, 2009 11:23 IST

AFP
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has heaped praise on the military as his country defies United Nations sanctions by vowing to increase its nuclear arsenal, state media said on Sunday.

Kim highly praised the 7th Infantry Division's "militant training spirit and set forth the tasks for increasing its combat ability in every way," the communist state's official news agency reported.

It did not say when the visit was made.

The report came one day after Pyongyang vowed to build more nuclear bombs and start enriching uranium for a new atomic weapons programme after the Security Council imposed sanctions for its May 25 nuclear test.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington would do all it could to prevent continued proliferation by the North.

"The North Koreans' continuing provocative actions are deeply regrettable," she told reporters Saturday during a visit to Canada.

The North Koreans, Clinton said, "have now been denounced by everyone. They have become further isolated. And it is not in the interests of the people of North Korea for that kind of isolation to continue."