“As everybody knows, the US hostile policy toward (North Korea) compels it to bolster its self-defensive nuclear arsenal,” said the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
The announcement came a day after North Korea, a self-proclaimed atomic power, demanded the US apologise for calling it part of an “axis of evil” and one of the “outposts of tyranny” before it would return to the talks.
Japan, which neighbours North Korea across the East Sea (Sea of Japan), quickly condemned the latest statement.
“North Korea is trying to raise the stakes by stirring tension ahead of the six-way nuclear talks,” an official in the foreign ministry’s Northeast Asia division told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“It is unproductive,” he said. “Japan, South Korea and the United States continue to work toward a resumption of six-way talks without any conditions.”