New York [US], September 30 (ANI): North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song on Tuesday said that Pyongyang has a "reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence" and will now focus on developing its sanctions-hit economy.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, Kim said that North Korea was still threatened by military hardware like stealth fighters being used on the Korean peninsula and "nuclear strike means of all kinds are directly aimed at the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK)".
Kim further said, "Genuine peace can only be safeguarded when one possesses the absolute strength to prevent war itself." He added, "As we have obtained a reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence by tightening our belts, peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the region are now firmly defended," Al Jazeera reported.
North Korea is facing difficulty dealing with the international sanctions imposed on its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes combined with damage from recent storms and flooding. Strict border closures along with other measures intended to prevent a coronavirus outbreak have further fuelled the current economic damage.
Kim claimed the pandemic situation is "under safe and stable control" as a result of measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases, though some have cast doubt about that claim, Al Jazeera wrote.
"Based on its reliable guarantee for safeguarding the security of the state and people, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is now directing all its efforts to economic construction," Kim said.
He said that they badly need an "external environment favourable for economic construction." However, he added, "But, we cannot sell off our dignity just in hope for brilliant transformation - the dignity which we have defended as valuable as our own life. This is our steadfast position."
A UN report on Monday showed how North Korea was defying nuclear sanctions by sending workers overseas and significantly exceeding a 500,000 barrel restriction on petroleum imports.
In August, Independent Sanctions Monitors informed the Security Council that several countries believed that North Korea was continuing with its nuclear weapon programme and it had "probably developed miniaturised nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles".
However, a Stimson Centre fellow and Deputy Director of 38 North Jenny Town, stood firm and said that the ambassador's speech contained "no overt threats or hints of shows of force or demonstrations of power in the near future. It was very focused on rebuilding and recovering the internal situation."
She said although North Korea needs sanction reliefs, they were not going to simply give up their weapons on promises of a brighter future and tangible moves would be required to prove that relations with the United States had changed before Pyongyang could justify taking measures that would jeopardise its security.
Since 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have met three times but have made no progress on the US calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and North Korea's demands for an end to sanctions, according to Al Jazeera.
State media reported last month that the North Korean government is planning a congress in January to come up with a new five-year plan following a party meeting that noted serious delays in improving the national economy and living standards. (ANI)