North Korea’s Ri Yong Ho defends ‘successful’ nuclear test in U.N. speech

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (UPI) — North Korea‘s foreign minister said Friday Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons are a self-defense measure and warned the United States of unimaginable consequences in response to the deployment of U.S. B-1B bombers to South Korea this week.

Ri Yong Ho’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly was marked by frequent condemnations of U.S. policy and U.N. sanctions against North Korea, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Pyongyang’s top diplomat said nuclear armament is national policy and the weapons are necessary to defend his country against other “hostile” nuclear powers like the United States.

North Korea’s fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9 has been universally condemned, and has prompted the United States, Japan and South Korea to call for tougher sanctions at the U.N. Security Council.

In a reference to U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises Ri said North Korea would not tolerate threats and slammed the deployment of supersonic bombers to the peninsula.

Ri also defended North Korea’s “successful” fifth nuclear test while assigning fault to the “hostile” policy of the United States for the development.

Ri called the test and other provocations a practical countermeasure against sanctions and U.S. hostility.

The foreign minister also denounced U.N. Security Council sanctions Resolution 2270 and asked why other nuclear weapons states have never been sanctioned.

There is no evidence in the U.N. Charter or international law that stipulates nuclear and ballistic missile tests are a threat or should be outlawed, Ri said.

Earlier in the week U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had called for Pyongyang to show a commitment to verifiable denuclearization.

Kerry had said the door to negotiations is open.

“The immediate need is for them to freeze where they are, to agree to freeze and not to engage in any more provocative actions,” Kerry had said on Sunday.


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