The Korea Herald


N. Korea says it‘s not like Iran

By KH디지털2

Published : July 21, 2015 - 15:18

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North Korea said Tuesday it will continue to develop nuclear weapons, rejecting calls for the isolated communist nation to follow in Iran's footsteps.

In a statement, the North's foreign ministry stressed that Pyongyang's situation is "quite different" from that of Tehran.

Last week, Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany concluded a landmark deal to curb Tehran's nuclear activities, which paves the way for lifting heavy economic sanctions imposed on the country.

Following Iran's nuke deal, Seoul and the U.S. have called on the North to take a lesson from Iran and to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

But North Korea made it clear on Tuesday that it has no plan to give up its nuclear arsenal, reiterating that the North's pursuit of the nuke program is aimed at protecting itself from what it called Washington's hostile acts.

"The situation of the DPRK is quite different from (that of Iran)," the Korean Central News Agency reported, citing an unidentified spokesman at the North's foreign ministry.

The DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name -- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The DPRK is not interested at all in the dialogue to discuss the issue of making it freeze or dismantle its nukes unilaterally first."

The six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the North -- involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia -- have been stalled since late 2008. The North conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

North Korea has demanded the unconditional resumption of the six-party talks, but Seoul and Washington have called on Pyongyang to take concrete steps to implement its denuclearization commitments.

Pyongyang, however, maintains that it has already become a nuclear power and it wants mutual disarmament.

"The DPRK is the nuclear weapons state both in name and reality and it has interests as a nuclear weapons state," the spokesman stressed.

The KCNA said that it is "illogical" to compare Iran's nuclear agreement with the North's situation as Pyongyang is under consistent military threat from the U.S.

"The DPRK remains unchanged in the mission of its nuclear force as long as the U.S. continues pursuing its hostile policy toward the former," the spokesman said. (Yonhap)