A spokesman for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday contended that North Korea had not planned to carry out another nuclear test at the time of its April long-range rocket launch, but claimed that the U.S. “hostile policy” might now force it to do so.
Speaking to Chosun Central News Agency, the spokesman, who had been asked to comment on the recent G8 Summit declaration, asserted, “From the beginning, we did not envisage such a military measure as a nuclear test as we planned to launch a scientific and technical satellite for peaceful purposes.”
“Several weeks ago, we informed the U.S. side of the fact that we are restraining ourselves in real actions though we are no longer bound to the February 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement, taking the concerns voiced by the U.S. into consideration for the purpose of ensuring the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula necessary for focusing every effort on the peaceful development,” he continued.
However, he also said in the same comment that “we will expand and bolster (our nuclear deterrent) nonstop as long as (the U.S.) hostile policy goes on.”
“The U.S. which spearheaded such an illegal action as pulling up the DPRK over its launch of a satellite for peaceful purposes is talking about what it called "nuclear test" in a bid to incite confrontation,” the spokesman went on, before appearing to threaten a future test with the words, “If the U.S. persists in its moves to ratchet up sanctions and pressure upon us despite our peace-loving efforts, we will be left with no option but to take counter-measures for self-defense.”
Meanwhile, the South Korean government said yesterday that the statement does not make it any clearer whether North Korea does or does not plan to undertake a test in reality, while Glyn Davies, the U.S. point man on North Korea policy, commented in Beijing, “I am at a bit of a loss to imagine what they're referring to when they talk about 'hostile policies,” before adding, “I guess I would sum it up by saying it sounds to me like more of the same. I don't know that it adds or detracts from what we already know about the North Korean view about what's happening at the moment.”