PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- North Korea is warning that it will keep developing its nuclear program if the United States continues to ``stifle'' the country.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman made no direct threat Tuesday of a nuclear test but said North Korea feels compelled to strengthen its ``nuclear deterrent'' in the face of U.S. hostility.
However, the spokesman said North Korea is open to dialogue to resolve the standoff.
The statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency was a response to a warning by the Group of Eight nations of more sanctions if North Korea conducts provocative acts.
There is concern that North Korea may carry out a nuclear test after a failed attempt to launch a long-range rocket last month. The North insists it was a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space.