UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — North Korea supports the idea of a complete ban on nuclear weapons in the world, but intends to keep its nuclear arsenal while the United States has one, deputy permanent representative of the North Korea to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, said Monday.
"The DPRK constantly supports the complete elimination of the nuclear weapons and efforts for the denuclearization of the entire world, but as long as US, who constantly threatens and blackmails the DPRK with nuclear weapons, rejects the NBT [Nuclear ban treaty], the DPRK is not in a position to accede to the treaty," Kim In Ryong told the UN General Assembly First Committee.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has reached a critical point, a nuclear war could begin at any moment, he stressed.
Tensions around North Korea and its nuclear program have escalated sharply due to repeated nuclear and missile tests carried out in violation of UNSC resolutions. In response, the UNSC introduced several rounds of sanctions against Pyongyang aimed at hampering the development of the North's nuclear weapons.
In late September, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters that US President Donald Trump had declared war on his country, and the nation had the right to take countermeasures against the United States, including bringing down US warplanes. Trump has previously repeatedly hinted at the possibility of a military solution to the North Korean nuclear problem.