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(LEAD) N. Korea to push for economic construction, nuclear development

All Headlines 21:35 March 31, 2013

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will push for both economic construction and nuclear development as part of a new strategic line for its Workers' Party, its official media said Sunday.

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea convened its plenary meeting earlier and adopted the new strategic line for pursuing the two objectives at the same time, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The plenary meeting set forth a new strategic line on carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously under the prevailing situation and to meet the legitimate requirement of the developing revolution," the KCNA said.

"This line is a brilliant succession and development onto a new higher stage of the original line of simultaneously developing economy and national deference that was set forth and had been fully embodied by the great Generalissimos (Kim Il-sung)," it added.

The KCNA said that the North's nuclear weapons are not a "political bargaining chip" nor a "thing for economic dealings," saying that the nuclear armed forces are its "life, which can never be abandoned as long as imperialists and nuclear threats exist on earth."

It added that the North's possession of nuclear weapons "should be fixed by law," adding that its nuclear armed forces should be "expanded and beefed up qualitatively and quantitatively until the denuclearisation of the world is realized."

This comes a day after the North ratcheted up its saber-rattling by saying that it is in a "state of war" with South Korea.

Tensions have been spiking, in particular, since Pyongyang conducted its nuclear test last month and the U.N. subsequently tightened its sanctions against the North.

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