North Korea is not planning any negotiations over its nuclear program with the U.S., a DPRK foreign ministry official said in Moscow on Friday.
Speaking at the at the 2017 Non-proliferation Conference in Moscow, Choe Son Hui, director-general of the North American Department of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the DPRK’s ultimate goal is a power balance with the United States.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is not planning to hold talks on nuclear weapons and the U.S. has to get along with the DPRK’s nuclear status,” Choe said in comments carried by Russian media.
“This is a matter of life and death for us. The current situation deepens our understanding that we need nuclear weapons to repel a potential attack.”
The North Korean official added the DPRK’s weapons are for defensive purposes. designed to deter the “constant threat” from the Washington.
But Choe’s comments contrast with recent North Korean threats made at the UN, where the DPRK Deputy UN Ambassador Kim In Ryong warned other countries to not join in any U.S. military action.
Choe also tried to give assurances regarding its nuclear technology staying within the country’s borders.
“Despite quitting NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), we are committed to the idea of non-proliferation of our nuclear weapons.”
The DPRK foreign ministry official’s comments seem to further cement the long-standing impasse between Washington and Pyongyang.
“One thing is certain, as long as tensions persist and both sides continue to push up the escalatory ladder, there is no chance for a serious diplomatic pause that will allow both sides to engage and explore the art of the possible,” Ken Gause, a North Korea leadership expert with the CNA Corporation told NK News.
Tensions between the two countries have been high for months, following repeated North Korean ballistic missile tests and another nuclear test on September 3.
U.S. President Donald Trump has also frequently alluded to military action, even saying the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea should it attack the U.S. or its allies, during his speech at the UN General Assembly last month.