Seoul: North Korea Saturday said it would build up its defence capability including a “nuclear deterrent,” accusing the United States and its allies of seeking war against the communist state.
A military spokesman reiterated that the North would consider sanctions or pressure following its recent rocket launch as a declaration of a war.
“Now that the group officially declared confrontation and war against the DPRK (North Korea), its revolutionary armed forces will opt for increasing the nation’s defence capability including nuclear deterrent in every way,” the spokesman for the General Staff said.
He said the North would not be bound by a 2007 agreement on nuclear disarmament adopted at six-party talks.
The spokesman lashed out at Seoul over its “fellow countrymen” joining international condemnation of the rocket launch while raising no issue with satellite launches by “its masters” the United States and Japan.
He also warned the South over its move to join a US-led initiative to curb trade in weapons of mass destruction.
Amid rising tension, South Korea has delayed a widely expected announcement that it will join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
“This group (South Korea’s conservative government) is unhesitatingly revealing its sinister intention not to rule out even a war … and blustering that a practical pressure would be put upon the DPRK through South Korea’s total participation in the PSI.
“There is no limit to the strike to be made by the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.
“The Lee group of traitors should never forget that Seoul is just 50 kilometres (31 miles) away” from the inter-Korean border, he said.
North Korea, a leading exporter of missiles in recent years, has warned that Seoul’s participation would be tantamount to a declaration of a war.
Seoul says Pyongyang has no reason to feel threatened by PSI, which is not aimed at specific countries.
But it has delayed a widely expected announcement of its participation, which was initially planned in the aftermath of the North’s controversial rocket launch on April 5.
Tensions remain high over the launch, which the United States and its allies say was a missile test disguised as a satellite launch.
The North Tuesday announced it was quitting six-nation nuclear disarmament talks and would restart nuclear facilities in an angry response to a UN Security Council statement which condemned the rocket launch.
North Korea said Friday the outbreak of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula was only “a matter of time” due to what it claimed were efforts by South Korea and the United States to bring it to its knees by force.