North Korea said Monday that “nuclear blackmail” by the United States would drive more countries to follow its lead and build their own atomic weapon.
The North proclaimed its “very proud and powerful” position as the latest nuclear weapons state on the first day of negotiations for a conventional weapons treaty at the UN headquarters.
Facing ever more stringent UN sanctions because of its nuclear weapons test last month, the North also seized on the occasion to make a new attack on US policy.
“The continuing policy of nuclear pre-emptive strike by the largest nuclear weapon state, makes us easily predict that it will in the long run give birth to more nuclear weapons states,” said the North’s deputy UN ambassador Ri Tong-Il.
He said the United States had applied “increased nuclear blackmail” by naming certain countries for a pre-emptive strike and this had forced North Korea to develop its own weapon.
North Korea staged its third nuclear bomb test on February 12 to near universal condemnation. The UN Security Council has since increased international sanctions against the isolated state.