N. Korea Vows to Continue Nuclear and Missile ActivitiesUpdated: 2012-07-13 PM 12:00:00 (KST)
North Korea says it will never give up its sovereign rights to explore space and to build light-water reactors for a peaceful use of nuclear energy.
In a statement by the North Korean delegation at an annual regional security forum in Cambodia's Phnom Penh Thursday, Pyeongyang accused the U.S. and South Korea of posing a nuclear threat, forcing it to acquire nuclear weapons, and even enrich uranium.
North Korea then claimed its recently failed rocket launch, which used a similar missile technology banned by the United Nations, was for a peaceful purpose.
The statement then blamed the U.S. for abandoning the two sides' food-for-denuclearization deal earlier this year, instead taking the satellite issue to the UN Security Council.
And the same hostility by the U.S. was put to blame for blocking North Korea from constructing electricity-generating light-water reactors.
North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun, who had been tight-lipped this week in Phnom Penh, finally spoke when asked about Thursday's conference.
"How were the talks[Interview : Kim Sung-hwan, S. Korean Foreign Minister] "We urge the North Korean leadership to invest in the welfare of its people, not in its nuclear and missile development."
The three parties, however, left the door to dialogue open should Pyeongyang stop its provocative behavior and take steps to denuclearize.
[Reporter : Choi You-sun
email@example.com] "The statement itself reflects Pyeongyang's intensified hardline stance towards the U.S. and its allies. And that would serve to further heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News, Phnom Penh."
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