North Korea (Wire)

U.S. 'recognizes' N. Korea as nuclear weapon state: North's media

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) — North Korea claimed through its state-controlled media Saturday that the United States has recognized it as a nuclear weapons state, a claim that has never been acknowledged by Washington.

Rodong Sinmun, an official newspaper of the North’s ruling Communist Party of Korea, said in an editorial that the United States is reluctantly moving to accept Pyongyang as a nuclear power.

The editorial, carried by the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), said that the Communist country, in reality, has nuclear weapons, whether other countries recognize it or not.

After carrying out underground nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, North Korea has openly declared itself as a nuclear weapons state and is now demanding that the U.S. and other countries accept it as a fact.

The United States, South Korea, Japan and other regional players have refused to comply with the North’s demand, saying that their position on the matter won’t change.

North Korea, in that newspaper article, did not say why it thought the U.S. has acknowledged its nuclear status but it has long been demanding that the United States sit with it at the negotiating table to discuss mutual disarmament.

“The U.S. compelled the DPRK to acquire nuclear capability for its self-defense,” the paper said, adding that Washington’s persistent confrontational stance is doing nothing to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

DPRK is short for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

yonngong@yna.co.kr

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