Nuclear Update: The August 31 Foreign Ministry "Memorandum"

September 18, 2012 7:00 AM

On August 31, the KCNA released a particularly long and detailed Foreign Ministry memorandum entitled “DPRK Terms U.S. Hostile Policy Main Obstacle in Resolving Nuclear Issue.” We reproduce it in its entirety below, on the principle that it is important to read and listen to what the DPRK actually says. The bottom line:

  • For internal audiences, songun is confirmed in a major policy statement from the new leadership. “Military first” lives.
  • For external audiences, the North Koreans are clearly impatient that they are being ignored and nothing is happening. Bargaining-through-threats could begin again. There is no explicit mention of a test, but the memorandum reminds the US that the regime will continue to develop its nuclear capabilities unless the US drops its “hostile policy.”
  • As with the US strategy of “waiting for a sign,” it is not clear what measures would signal a conciliatory move. But the memorandum spends a lot of time reviewing the complex sanctions regime, suggesting they could be looking for an economic opening.

The memo also provides an opportunity to review where we are on the nuclear front since the missile launch on April 12. With the collapse of the February 29 freeze deal, we fretted about the prospects for an old pattern: missile test, international condemnation, DPRK outrage at the outrage, and nuclear test. This sequence occurred in both 2006 and 2009. However in a condemnation of the G8 summit declaration on May 22, a Foreign Ministry spokesman let drop a hint of restraint.

“Several weeks ago, we informed the U.S. side of the fact that we are restraining ourselves in real actions though we are no longer bound to the February 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement, taking the concerns voiced by the U.S. into consideration for the purpose of ensuring the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula necessary for focusing every effort on the peaceful development.

From the beginning, we did not envisage such a military measure as a nuclear test as we planned to launch a scientific and technical satellite for peaceful purposes.”

This restraint did not extend to maintaining the concessions offered under the February 29 agreement. In particular, on June 1 the DPRK reversed its earlier invitation to the IAEA to begin technical discussions. Speculation continued about the possibility of a North Korean test, including in an important piece by Sig Hecker that was misread as suggesting a test was imminent. In its report issue at the end of August, the IAEA similarly refrained from any specific predictions. But they did remark on a number of developments at Yongbyon based on analysis of satellite imagery. In particular:

  • “The Agency has observed building renovation and new construction work at various locations within the site. Although the purpose of such activities cannot be determined through satellite imagery alone, they appear to be broadly consistent with the DPRK’s statements that it is further developing its nuclear capabilities.:
  • While there was no significant activity at the technically declared sites at Yongbyon, the Agency noted developments with respect to the 100 MW(th) light water reactor (LWR) and a centrifuge enrichment facility. “Since the Director General’s previous report, significant progress has been made in the construction of the LWR: the dome has been put in place on the reactor containment building; there have been indications that some components may have been installed inside the building; and a system for pumping water from the river to the LWR for cooling purposes has also been built.”
  • The report also noted activity—also reported by Hecker—at the site of the 2006 and 2009 tests, but without access there is no way to draw any firm conclusions.

The waters were further muddied by a statement issued on July 20 in connection with the charge that the US was supporting South Korean groups intent on blowing up statues. In that statement, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “the situation compels the DPRK to totally reexamine the nuclear issue.” But given the farcical nature of the entire episode, no one paid serious attention.

The August 31 statement is an incredibly detailed and comprehensive statement of the DPRK’s current view of the world, with all of the necessary caveats that it is clearly designed to get a rise out of the US.  For internal audiences, it confirms and that the new leadership has no intention of abandoning Kim Jong Il’s basic foreign policy line of “military first,” an affirmation that could be important if Kim Jong Un attempts a reform.

The memorandum begins with a section devoted to a review of the last 20 years of negotiations and argues that the US has not upheld its commitments, and assurances to the contrary, has never abandoned its “hostile policy.” The reaction to the missile launch was only the latest instance of Washington’s perfidy although the statement does acknowledge that “both satellite carrier rocket and missile with warhead use similar technology.”

A second section seeks to debunk the theory that the hostile policy is a function of the nuclear issue, dating its origins to the division of the peninsula and the onset of the Cold War.  But unlike the Soviet Union and other socialist states, the US failed to recognize the DPRK, even after its entry into the UN in 1991. The memorandum goes on to trace all of the DPRK peace plans that have been rejected, but devotes particular attention to the complex welter of sanctions that the US maintains on the country; my colleague Marc Noland provides a brief guide to the perplexed.

The final section is entitled “To Renounce the Hostile Policy is a Prerequisite for the Settlement of Nuclear Issue.” Basically, the North is saying to the US what we are saying to them: that we have two choices. One is to continue with the hostile policy, “resulting in further expanding and building up of the DPRK’s nuclear arsenal.” The other is to make a bold leap, renounce the hostile policy, and move forward.

It is not entirely clear what precise actions would constitute such a reversal for the US, however. One possibility is that there are none. Anti-Americanism is so deeply embedded in the ideological infrastructure that the call for the US to “drop its hostile policy” is really equivalent to saying that the US should become a different country. But the lengthy discussion of sanctions suggests a second possibility: that the regime sees the sanctions as a particularly significant item on the agenda. However, the peace treaty concept and the ultimate prize of recognition also get mention. It thus best to see this as an opening salvo in a new round of post-freeze negotiations.

For those who follow North Korea, the document does not contain surprises. Nor does it explicitly threaten a test. But it does provide a one-stop overview of the continuity in the new regime’s ideological line.

By chance, the VOA has recently shot news videos with Glyn Davies and Bob King that outline the current state of US policy. The short version is that the February 29 deal is dead in both its political and economic dimensions. Bob King confirms that there have been no further discussion of the aid component of the February 29 agreement. Since simply “not provoking” is hardly enough to constitute such a signal, it appears that what Davies is outlining would be a resumption of some of the obligations under the February 29 agreement, such as resumption technical talks with the IAEA or a public announcement committing not to test.

But the current US stance is an opening gambit as well. Perhaps the US policy team can read enough of a hopeful sign in the memorandum to restart the conversation, but we don’t really see it, particularly with elections looming. To the contrary, even if they don’t test, the evidence will continue to mount that the LWR, enrichment efforts and nuclear weapons and missile programs are marching along, making it harder—not easier—for a deal to get consummated.

China and South Korea are also stuck, but in different ways. Barely a day goes by without some Chinese spokesman or diplomat saying we need to get back to the Six Party Talks.  But Beijing still seems to be in hands-off mode, doing precious little to actually lead the parties toward a deal on the issue. South Korean policy is also stuck in pre-election mode, although the election will almost certainly yield a more moderate stance than that pursued under LMB.

In sum, we’re nowhere.

DPRK Terms U.S. Hostile Policy Main Obstacle in Resolving Nuclear Issue

Pyongyang, August 31 (KCNA) — The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea released a memorandum Friday, terming the U.S. hostile policy towards DPRK the main obstacle in resolving the nuclear issue.

Following is the full text of the memorandum:

On July 20 last, the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced that it has reached the point of having to completely reexamine the nuclear issue due to the continued U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK.

The U.S. hostile policy is the root cause that has turned the Korean peninsula into the most dangerous hotspot in the world and it is also the main obstacle to durable peace and stability.

The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula is none other than the outcome of the U.S. hostile policy and therefore, only when the U.S. abandons its hostile policy, will it be possible to resolve the issue.

The Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the DPRK issues the following memorandum to shed light on the contrast between the U.S. claim of having no hostile intent towards the DPRK and its actual behavior.

1. The hostile concept that blocks the settlement of the nuclear issue

An important agreement was announced on February 29, 2012 as a result of the high-level talks between the DPRK and U.S. The U.S. reaffirmed that “it no longer has hostile intent towards the DPRK and that it is prepared to take steps to improve the bilateral relations in the spirit of mutual respect for sovereignty and equality and agreed to provide a substantive amount of food assistance to the DPRK. The DPRK, considering the concerns of the U.S., agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment activity while productive dialogues continue.

However, when the DPRK launched the “Kwangmyongsong 3”, an artificial satellite for peaceful purposes, on April 13 last, the U.S. took issue with it, arguing that the space launch was based on the same technology with the long-range missile launch and went ahead with unilaterally abrogating the February 29 Agreement, upgrading sanctions on the DPRK.

It is true that both satellite carrier rocket and missile with warhead use the similar technology. However, when other countries conduct satellite launch, the U.S. neither takes an issue with any of it, calling it a missile launch, nor takes actions like imposing sanctions. The U.S. saw our satellite carrier rocket as a long-range missile that would one day reach the U.S. because it regards the DPRK as an enemy.

That is the reason why the ever-first agreement reached between the DPRK and the U.S. since the Obama administration took office ended up with failure as other previous DPRK-U.S. agreements.

At the beginning of DPRK-U.S. bilateral talks held during the Clinton administration, the U.S. pledged on “assurances against the threat and use of force, including nuclear weapons.” (DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement, June 11, 1993)

At the final stage of the bilateral talks, the U.S. agreed to “move towards full normalization of the political and economic relations” with the DPRK. (DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework, October 21, 1994)

The U.S. also declared that it would not have hostile intent towards the DPRK. (DPRK-U.S. Joint Communique, October 12, 2000)

However, all these commitments were not honored but were broken off overnight with the change of each U.S. administration.

The Bush administration turned down all the DPRK-U.S. agreements reached during the Clinton administration, listed the DPRK as an “axis of evil” and singled it out as a target of preemptive nuclear strike. (State of the Union Address, January 30, 2002 and Nuclear Posture Review, March 2002)

The extremely dangerous hostile policy pursued by the Bush administration forced the DPRK to withdraw completely from the NPT and direct its peaceful nuclear power industry for producing electricity to the building-up of self-defensive nuclear deterrent.

At the six-party talks, the U.S. affirmed that it has “no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons”. (Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, September 19, 2005)

As action steps to implement the September 19 Joint Statement, the U.S. gave assurances that it would improve the relations with the DPRK and move towards the full diplomatic relations. (Six-Party Talks Agreements, February 13 and October 3, 2007)

However, four years has elapsed since the last round of the six-party talks, which was held in December 2008 and it is not yet resumed. During the intervening time, the level of U.S. hostility towards the DPRK was not lowered but further increased.

The first step the Obama administration took towards the DPRK was taking issue with the DPRK’s launch of peaceful satellite “Kwangmyongsong 2”.

The U.S. extreme hostile policy aimed at depriving the DPRK of its sovereign right for peaceful use of the outer space, the right recognized by international law, called upon the DPRK’s self-defensive response, namely another nuclear test. It again led to the repetition of the vicious cycle of mistrust and confrontation; the U.S. imposed ever-harsh sanctions on the DPRK and the DPRK responded by starting the construction of light-water reactor (LWR) on its own and the production of enriched uranium to meet the fuel need for the LWR.

The reality proves that unless the long held hostile concept of the U.S. towards the DPRK is rooted out as a whole, nothing can be resolved but the confrontation and the risk of conflict would rather increase.

In the early stages of the DPRK-U.S. talks, the DPRK maintained that the U.S. should first abandon its hostile policy, in order to resolve the nuclear issue, whereas the U.S. insisted that the DPRK should first give up its nuclear program in order to normalize the DPRK-U.S. relations.

In the process, thanks to the sincerity and generosity of the DPRK, the principle of simultaneous action steps, known as “word for word” and “action for action”, was agreed upon and served as the basis for the dialogue.

The 20 year-long history of the talks between the DPRK and the U.S. has shown that even the principle of simultaneous action steps is not workable unless the hostile concept of the U.S. towards the DPRK is removed.

2. The root of the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK

The hostile policy of the U.S. towards the DPRK has deep historical roots.

Post-war generation in the U.S. and other countries has no proper understanding of the historical roots of the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK; they do not know the fact that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula stems from the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK and even misunderstand that the U.S. is hostile to the DPRK because of the nuclear issue.

The fact is that the U.S. hostility towards the DPRK is not based on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK had no other choice but to develop nuclear weapons, because of the hostile policy and the increasing nuclear threat from the U.S. which is the world’s biggest nuclear power.

From the very beginning, the U.S. defined the DPRK as an enemy and refused to recognize its sovereignty. The U.S. continued to step up its hostile moves against the DPRK, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the political system of our people’s choice.

The institutional and legal mechanism against the DPRK has been in place long before the rise of the nuclear issue. Military attacks and nuclear threats aimed at eliminating our ideology and system have been openly committed, and economic sanctions and international pressure for isolating and suffocating the DPRK have been persistent.

The end of World War II meant the beginning of the Cold War between the East and the West.

The U.S. needed a bridgehead to contain the “southward expansion” of the then Soviet Union and to make an inroad into the Eurasian continent. It was out of this requirement that the U.S. hurriedly drew a line along the 38th parallel before the surrender of Japan in order to secure that bridgehead. This led to the tragic division of the Korean nation and its territory.

For the U.S. engaged in the Cold War, the area south of the 38th parallel was its ally and that north of it was the enemy.

It is a general international practice for the states to establish diplomatic relations with new independent sovereign state. The establishment of diplomatic relations between countries does not necessarily mean specially favorable sentiment or close friendship; it is an indication of political stand that they regard each other as an equal part of the international community.

Despite the differences in political ideology and system, the U.S. established diplomatic relations with the former Soviet Union as well as other socialist countries in the Eastern Europe. However, the U.S. refused even to call the DPRK by its official name, to say nothing of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The UN recognized the sovereignty of the DPRK when it joined it in 1991. The DPRK currently maintains diplomatic relations with 166 countries which account for about 86 per cent of the UN membership. The U.S., however, refuses to recognize the DPRK as a sovereign state with whom it may co-exist in the international community.

Out of 193 member states of the UN, only the DPRK, together with Iran and Cuba have no diplomatic ties with the U.S. This clearly shows that the U.S. pursues extremely hostile policy towards these countries – unprecedented case in the history of contemporary international relations.

Hostile policy of the U.S. towards the DPRK finds its most clear expression in military area.

The DPRK and the U.S. have been technically at war against each other for more than sixty years even after the end of war; no comparable example can be found in the modern history.

The Korean Armistice Agreement concluded on July 27, 1953, is by no means an agreement that officially ended the war. Nor is it a lasting peace treaty. The Korean Armistice Agreement was the transitional measure aimed at withdrawing all foreign troops from the Korean Peninsula and ensuring permanent peace.

However, the U.S. deliberately chose to prolong the status of armistice.

In November 1953, the U.S. defined as its ultimate goal on the Korean Peninsula to maintain the ceasefire regime, to make south Korea its “military ally” and prevent the spread of communism across the entire Korean Peninsula until “pro-U.S. unification” is achieved. (US NSC Resolution No. 170)

Accordingly, the U.S. intentionally broke off the Geneva conference on peaceful resolution of the Korean issue in June 1954 and violated and nullified the key provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement step by step by introducing modern military equipment including nuclear weapons into south Korea and by stepping up aggressive military exercises.

The U.S. turned down numerous peace proposals and initiatives put forward by the Government of the DPRK, such as the proposal for the conclusion of a peace treaty between the DPRK and the U.S. (1970s), tripartite talks proposal to include south Korea in the DPRK-U.S. talks (1980s), proposal for establishing a new peace mechanism (1990s).

The DPRK, China, U.S. and south Korea sat for the four-party talks in the late 1990s to set up a lasting peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. However, the talks could not produce any result, due to the absence of sincerity on the U.S. side.

At the beginning of the new century, the DPRK proposed that the signatories to the Korean Armistice Agreement sit together to discuss on declaring the end of the war and that the talks should be held to replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty on the occasion of the 60th year of the Korean War outbreak. (Declaration for the development of North-South relations and peace and prosperity, October 4, 2007 and Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, January 11, 2010). However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to all the above proposals.

The U.S. remains unchanged in its dogged position as regards the peace proposals of the DPRK; the U.S. position is that the conclusion of peace treaty is premature and the ceasefire regime is to be maintained. This means that the U.S. would continue to regard the DPRK as its enemy and warring party.

The U.S. has an array of different categories of war plans and scenarios targeting the DPRK, such as “OPLAN 5029″, “OPLAN 5030″, “OPLAN 5012″, etc.; all these plans are for making the armed invasion of the DPRK and setting up its military rule.

It is pursuant to these war plans that the U.S. keeps on conducting various kinds of joint military exercises, such as “Focus Retina”, “Freedom Bolt”, “Team Spirit”, “RSOI”, “Key Resolve”, “Foal Eagle”, “Ulji Freedom Guardian”, etc. All the above exercises seek to achieve the same goal but are conducted in different names.

The U.S. economic sanctions against the DPRK are an important tool for the pursuit of its long-standing hostile policy towards the DPRK.

The U.S. curtails trade with the DPRK and imposes all sorts of economic sanctions on such accusations that DPRK threatens regional stability, does not cooperate with the U.S. in its anti-terrorism efforts, engage in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and that the DPRK is communist state, nonmarket economy, etc. (U.S. Congressional Research Service Report, April 25, 2011)

In particular, economic sanctions imposed on the DPRK before the rise of the nuclear issue have nothing to do with the nuclear issue and merely reflect the U.S. hostile concept towards the DPRK.

Having defined the DPRK as a “Marxist-Leninist state with a communist government”, the U.S. has long maintained sanctions against the DPRK. (Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, as amended, and Foreign Assistance Act of 1961)

The U.S. began to apply the Trading with the Enemy Act to the DPRK from December 1950. A few days later, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued Foreign Assets Control Regulations to forbid any financial transactions involving, or on behalf of, the DPRK.

On June 26, 2008, more than half a century later, the then U.S. President Bush took measures to terminate the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) as regards the DPRK, pursuant to the agreement reached at the six-party talks. However, on the same day, Bush declared a state of emergency, saying that the weapons-usable fissile material in the possession of the DPRK constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the security of the U.S. and that other provisions of sanctions on the DPRK should remain effective under the terms of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act. It meant that all property and interests of the DPRK which had been blocked as of June 16, 2000, would remain to be blocked and that a U.S. national would not be allowed to register, own, lease, operate or insure a vessel flagged by the DPRK.

The effectiveness of this measure has been intensified and extended annually by Obama who issued two Executive Orders – i.e. No. 13551 (August, 2010), and No. 13570 (April, 2011). It means that the Trading with the Enemy Act – nominally no longer applicable to the DPRK – actually continues to maintain its effect under different name.

The Trade Agreement Extension Act of the U.S. required the suspension of Most-Favored-Nation trade status for all communist countries. However, this Act was applied to the DPRK as early as September 1, 1951 – long before the establishment of the socialist system in the DPRK. As a result, the DPRK was denied normal trade relations with the U.S.

The DPRK tops the list of countries to which the U.S. applies highest rate of tariff. It means that the DPRK would have to pay the highest tariff if it is to export its products to the U.S. The DPRK and Cuba are the only countries to which the U.S. applies this rule. The Trade Act of 1974 defined the DPRK as a communist state. Therefore, the DPRK is denied mutually preferential treatment in trade relations with the U.S.

The extent of obsession with the hostile concept towards the DPRK on the part of the U.S. finds its clear expression in the terms and provisions of the U.S.-instigated United Nations Security Council resolution adopted in the wake of the DPRK’s first nuclear test. The U.S. sneaked a provision that banned export and import of luxury goods as regards the DPRK – a provision that has no relevance at all to the nuclear issue – in the resolution and rushed it through. It was a mean and foolish plot to undermine the reputation of our supreme leadership and drive a wedge between the leadership and our people.

Although the U.S. nominally removed the designation of the DPRK from the list of state sponsors of terrorism on October 11, 2008, under the agreement reached in the course of the six-party talks, no sanctions on the DPRK had actually been eased or lifted in effect because those sanctions are overlapped by the different U.S. domestic laws under different pretexts.

The sanctions listed above are only a tip of the iceberg of the economic sanctions which the U.S. applies to the DPRK.

According to the 2006 statistics published by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the U.S. imposes some forty different kinds of sanctions on the DPRK; however, only a quarter or so of these sanctions are based on the different political system.

The remaining three quarters of the sanctions – sanctions under the pretext of “threat to the security of the U.S.”, “proliferation of WMD”, “sponsor of terrorism”, “human rights”, “religious freedom”, “money laundering”, “missile development”, “human trafficking”, etc., many of which are based on absurd allegations – are applied at the discretion of the U.S. President or relevant departments of the U.S. administration.

It points to the unjustifiable discrepancy between the words and deeds of the U.S. administration that claims to having “no hostile intent”.

Since the roots remain to be there, it takes more than words to remove them, the hostile concept.

3. To Renounce the Hostile Policy is a Prerequisite for the Settlement of Nuclear Issue

The U.S. hostile policy pursued by the U.S. makes the prospect of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula all the more gloomy.

At present stage, there is no possibility of the U.S. giving up its hostile policy towards the DPRK. The actions taken by the U.S. towards the DPRK gets more hostile day by day, despite the claims made by the U.S. authorities that they have “no hostile intent” towards the DPRK.

In April this year, they flagrantly violated the sovereignty of the DPRK by unjustly challenging our peaceful satellite launch. In the wake of this, there occurred an unprecedented incident; the U.S. army stationed in south Korea fired live bullets to the DPRK national flag, taking it as the target.

This was followed by the extreme provocative action on the part of the U.S. intelligence institution which manipulated south Korean intelligence plot-breeding agency to fabricate the plot to demolish statues of the peerlessly great persons of Mt. Paektu. At the same time, the bilateral and tripartite aggression war exercises are on the increase between the U.S. and its followers in and around the Korean Peninsula and their offensive nature and scope are steadily expanded and strengthened.

All facts show that the intensity of the U.S. hostility towards the DPRK is being escalated.

This has a nexus with the U.S. new defense strategy made public by the Obama administration on January 5, 2012.

This strategy envisages increasing the U.S. armed forces in the Asia-Pacific region to the level of 60 per cent of all its military stationed abroad by way of drawing down 10 percent of its armed forces stationed in Europe by 2020.

In general, the arms build up necessitates justification of the “existence or threat of the enemy”. The only country that the U.S. can consider as its enemy in Northeast Asia is the DPRK. Each of big countries normally would not describe the other as an enemy. It means that the U.S. will perceive the DPRK as its enemy for the purpose of augmenting its armed forces for such a long time so as to realize its new defense strategy.

In addition, the new defense strategy does not guarantee that the U.S. will not occupy the whole Korean Peninsula through a direct armed invasion, in order to form its military encirclement around the big countries in Eurasia.

The prevailing situation urges the DPRK to prevent the recurrence of war in the Korean Peninsula by all means and make up thoroughgoing preparations to wage a war for national reunification, in case the war is inevitably forced upon us.

This is the motive and backdrop for us to completely reexamine our nuclear issue.

The U.S. has two ways.

One way is to make bold and fundamental change in its cold war mindset to renounce its anachronistic policy toward the DPRK, and thus contribute to the peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and pave the way for ensuring its own security.

If the U.S. shows such courage in action, we will be willing to respond to it.

The great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il said on August 4, 1997 that we did not intend to regard the U.S. as the sworn enemy but wished for the normalization of the DPRK-U.S. relations.

The respected Marshal Kim Jong Un wants to open up a new chapter for the development of relations with the countries friendly towards us, unbound to the past.

Another way is to continue down the U.S. hostile policy as of today, resulting in further expanding and building up of the DPRK’s nuclear arsenal.

If the U.S. seeks to meet its further interests at the cost of sacrificing the DPRK’s interests, it will be inevitably met by strong response from the DPRK.

The DPRK has already emerged as a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, and the era when the U.S. threatened the DPRK with atomic bomb has gone by. We will not sit idle watching the increased hostile moves of the U.S. but will make every effort to defend the destiny of the country and the nation.

It will be a great mistake to regard our strong position as a kind of tactics.

We opted for building up nuclear deterrent, not because we wanted to trade it off for something but because we had to counter off the moves of the U.S., the biggest nuclear power in the world, aimed at eliminating the DPRK.

Our nuclear deterrent for self-defense is a treasured sword that prevents war and ensures peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

If the U.S. does not make a right choice, the DPRK’s nuclear possession will inevitably be prolonged, modernizing and expanding its nuclear deterrent capability beyond the U.S. imagination.

Pyongyang, 31 August 2012

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