N Korea ups nuke rhetoric

2009-06-13 09:56

Seoul - North Korea said on Saturday it would weaponise all of its plutonium and start enriching uranium in response to UN Security Council sanctions slapped on it for missile firings and a nuclear test.

"Firstly, all plutonium to be extracted will be weaponised. One third of used fuel rods have so far been reprocessed," its foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Secondly, we will start uranium enrichment," it said, adding the North had successfully developed technology needed to enrich uranium after it decided to build its own light water reactors.

The communist state also pledged that it would never abandon its nuclear programme.

"The option of giving up nuclear weapons has become an impossible thing and it does not matter for us whether someone allows our possession of nuclear weapons or not."

It also said it would consider any blockade as an act of war and said it would retaliate militarily.

The statement said the UN sanctions were another dirty trick that came from US-led international pressure aimed to "disarm us and suffocate economically" in order to dismantle the ideology and system chosen by the people of North Korea.

"If anyone were in the same position as ours, he would know that our possession of nuclear weapons is not something we wanted but it was an inevitable course of action forced upon us by the US hostile policy and nuclear threats," it said.