Monday’s anniversary of the end of the Korean War was accompanied by the stock bellicose threats from Pyongyang to kill every American should they resume hostilities on the divided peninsula. Kim Jong un even noted how the country’s nuclear arsenal gives him a tactical advantage should Washington strike.
On Tuesday Pyongyang's ambassador to China struck a similar tone, reminding the world his country has no interest in an Iran-style nuclear disarmament deal because North Korea is a "nuclear weapons state."
Ji Jae Ryong told reporters that the Iranian nuclear deal reached earlier this month was an achievement made through protracted efforts, but that North Korea was different to Iran because it is "a nuclear weapons state both in name and in reality." He said: "We are not interested at all in dialogue to discuss the issue of freezing or dismantling our nukes unilaterally first".
North Korea's nuclear program is a major regional concern. International talks over North Korea's nuclear disarmament have been stalled since early 2009. North Korean officials called Tuesday's news conference to reiterate Pyongyang's view that the "hostile policy" by the United States toward it is the root cause of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The US has stationed troops in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 conflict.