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DPRK vows to continue bolstering nuclear capabilities in 2018

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Saturday that it won’t back down from developing and expanding its nuclear missile capabilities as a means to counter threats from the United States.

Tensions escalated through the year as the DPRK test-fired 16 missiles since February, despite international condemnation.

Military drills near the Korean Peninsula continue even as Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in recommends a suspension of drills ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

In a detailed report released Saturday by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the US is accused of being culpable for the dangerous tension on the Korean Peninsula.

“Our party and state …clarified the principled stand that it would continue bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and preemptive attack with the nuclear force as the pivot, as long as the US and its vassal forces persist in nuclear threat and blackmail,” wrote the KCNA.

It said that US President Donald Trump’s administration “has resorted to the hard-line hostile policy toward the DPRK, the degree of which dwarfs the policies of the former administrations.”

The report also listed in chronological order the events which marked the nuclear and missile crisis this year, including the detonation of a hydrogen bomb and the test-firing of three intercontinental ballistic missiles, which recently drew sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.

The “Hwasong 15” missile test-fired by the country last month was said to be able to strike the US mainland.

(With inputs from Xinhua)

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