North Korea said Tuesday that it will conduct a nuclear test to bolster its self-defense capability amid what it calls increasing U.S. hostility toward the communist regime, reports Trend.
"The DPRK will in the future conduct a nuclear test under the condition where safety is firmly guaranteed," the North's Foreign Ministry said in the official English translation of its statement, using the acronym for country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The statement gave no precise date of when a test might occur.
Pyongyang has said it has nuclear weapons, but is not known to have conducted any test to prove its claim. It has not mentioned a nuclear test in previous public statements.
"The U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war and sanctions and pressure compel the DPRK to conduct a nuclear test, an essential process for bolstering nuclear deterrent, as a corresponding measure for defense," said the statement, carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
The North's "nuclear weapons will serve as reliable war deterrent for protecting the supreme interests of the state and the security of the Korean nation from the U.S. threat of aggression and averting a new war and firmly safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean peninsula under any circumstances," the statement said.
Multilateral talks on the North's nuclear program have been stalled for almost a year. Pyongyang has boycotted the six-nation talks to protest U.S. financial restrictions imposed for its alleged illegal activity, including money laundering and counterfeiting.
The North said Tuesday that its ultimate goal is "to settle hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and to remove the very source of all nuclear threats from the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity," accusing the U.S. of posing a nuclear threat in the region.