N.Korean Diplomat Says U.S. Must 'Put up with' Pyongyang's Nuclear Weapons

  • By Kim Jin-myung

    October 23, 2017 12:50

    A senior North Korean official vowed on Friday that Pyongyang will never abandon its nuclear weapons program.

    Possessing nuclear weapons is "a matter of life and death" for North Korea, Choe Son-hui, an official from the North's Foreign Ministry, said at a conference on non-proliferation in Moscow. She also said North Korea won't repeat the mistakes of Iraq and Libya.

    The North apparently believes it would not be able to defend itself from a U.S. attack should it give up its nuclear weapons program.

    North Korean Foreign Ministry official Choe Son-hui speaks at a conference in Moscow on Saturday. /Yonhap

    Choe added that North Korea's nuclear weapons are needed to deter potential attacks, insisting Washington would "have to put up with" the reality that it possesses nuclear weapons.

    Meanwhile, there was no meaningful contact at the conference between South and North Korean officials. Choe exchanged brief greetings with South Korean Foreign Ministry official Lee Sang-hwa, but refused to talk further.

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