North Korea on Tuesday announced it would continue developing its nuclear weapons programme which, it claimed, did not pose a threat to peace.
“The weapons are not aimed at posing a threat to peace. We will not use nuclear weapons if aggressors do not attack us with nukes,” said Tuesday’s edition of Rodong Simnum, the official daily of the North Korean Workers’ Party.
Pyongyang also plans to “actively pursue a diplomatic policy that is commensurate with its enhanced global status”, which it has gained due to its nuclear weapons programme, the daily said.
This strategy is part of the “byeongjin” policy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which prioritises economic development and nuclear weapons of mass destruction at the same time, and which Kim endorsed in the historic 7th Congress of the Workers Party, held in Pyongyang in May.
The statement comes a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, said it suspects North Korea was once again expanding its nuclear programme, possibly for military purposes.
North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, and earlier in January this year it claimed to have successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb during its fourth nuclear test, although experts doubt the claim.