"We possess the nuclear deterrent forces not to drop bombs on the head of the nation," it was asserted in an opinion piece published in Rodong Sinmun.
According to Pyongyang, the country’s nuclear weapons are directed "to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula and to disrupt malicious attempts to decisively crush" North Korea.
"As in yesterday, today we long for improved relations between the North and South, and aspire toward the unity of the nation and peace on this earth," the ruling party’s paper said.
Tensions surrounding North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs escalated early last month, when Pyongyang announced that it had successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, triggering a wave of condemnation from the international community.
North Korea has notified the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of its plan to launch a satellite between February 8 and February 25.
South Korea said Seoul would view any satellite launches by Pyongyang as a ballistic missile test, and Japan began deploying its missile launchers near the expected flight path of what both deem to be a ballistic missile.