Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

North Korea vows to keep nuclear arms

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's leader on Sunday announced a "new strategic line" that defied warnings from Washington, saying his country was determined to rebuild its economy in the face of international sanctions while simultaneously expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal, which the ruling party called "the nation's life."

The North's nuclear weapons "are neither a political bargaining chip nor a thing for economic dealings," the official Korean Central News Agency reported, citing remarks from the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of joint military exercises in South Korea involving U.S. and South Korean forces.

U.S. and South Korean officials still hope they can persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons through sanctions and diplomacy, especially if China agrees to use its economic leverage with the North. Many regional analysts and officials have suggested that the North's recent strident language, including threats to attack the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons, is intended not only to solidify Kim's military credentials at home but also to draw the United States back to the negotiating table.

But a growing number of analysts also say that North Korea seems to have no intention of giving up its nuclear arms.

"The enemies are using both blackmail, telling us that we cannot achieve economic development unless we give up nuclear weapons, and appeasement, saying that they will help us live well if we choose a different path," Kim was quoted as saying during the meeting Sunday.

But he said his country must expand its nuclear arsenal both "in quality and quantity, as long as the United States' nuclear threat continues."

President Barack Obama and his national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, have urged Kim to learn from Myanmar, where changes initiated by new leaders have resulted in billions in debt forgiveness, large-scale development assistance and an influx of foreign investment. It North Korea continues on its current path, they said, it will face more sanctions and deeper isolation.

President Park Geun Hye of South Korea has also warned that the only way for Kim's government to ensure its survival is to give up its nuclear weapons.

South Korean soldiers patrol near the border village of Panmunjom on Sunday. In recent days, North Korea has threatened to attack South Korea and the United States with nuclear weapons.

Associated Press

South Korean soldiers patrol near the border village of Panmunjom on Sunday. In recent days, North Korea has threatened to attack South Korea and the United States with nuclear weapons.

North Korea vows to keep nuclear arms 03/31/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 1, 2013 1:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hillary Clinton said her 'skin crawled' when Donald Trump stood behind her on debate stage

    National

    In her most detailed public comments about what happened during the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said her "skin crawled" as Donald Trump loomed behind her on the stage in St. Louis last October.

    Hillary Clinton speaks as Donald Trump listens during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9, 2016. In her upcoming book, Clinton says "It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled." [Pool photo by Rick T. Wilking via AP]
  2. After 17 years, Pasco-Hernando State College attorney steps away

    College

    The longtime attorney for Pasco-Hernando State College has resigned for what he says are "purely personal reasons."

    Steve Schroeder, the general council for Pasco-Hernando State College, resigned last week. His last day will be Sept. 8.
  3. Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions for a Self-Driving Car

    Autos

    SAN FRANCISCO — As new employees were brought into Apple's secret effort to create a self-driving car a few years ago, managers told them that they were working on the company's next big thing: A product that would take on Detroit and disrupt the automobile industry.

     In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, Luminar CEO Austin Russell monitors a 3D lidar map on a demonstration drive in San Francisco. Russell, now 22, was barely old enough to drive when he set out to create a safer navigation system for robot-controlled cars. His ambitions are about to be tested five years after he co-founded Luminar Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup trying to steer the rapidly expanding self-driving car industry in a new direction. Apple says it will scale back its amitions to build a self-driving car.  [AP Photo/Ben Margot]
  4. Studies: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

    Autos

    WASHINGTON — Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday.

    A side mirror warning signal is shown in a Ford Taurus at an automobile testing area in Oxon Hill, Md., in 2012. Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. [Associated Press]
  5. Pet Vet: Why a cat's color can make it more susceptible to skin cancer

    Pets

    Snowball is a fluffy female cat 10 years of age. Can you guess what color she might be? I ask the question because it is relevant to what might be causing her problem.

    White fluffy cat  [Dreamstime | TNS]