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(LEAD) N. Korea rejects U.N. Security Council statement, vows to bolster nuclear force

All Headlines 03:43 September 08, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with English-language statement)

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Wednesday it rejects the U.N. Security Council statement condemning its latest missile launches, claiming the statement is a violation of the country's sovereignty and vowing to continue to strengthen its nuclear arsenal.

A spokesperson of the North's Foreign Ministry made the remark to the Korean Central News Agency after the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the North's launches of three medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles on Monday.

"The U.S. and its followers cooked up a press release again in which they found fault with the DPRK's measure for bolstering up nuclear deterrence for self-defence," the spokesperson said. "The DPRK categorically rejects this as an intolerable act of encroaching upon its dignity, right to existence, sovereignty and right to self-defence."

The spokesperson also said it is "utterly illogical" for the Security Council to take issue with the North's "legitimate measure for self-defence" while "not uttering a word about the brigandish act of the U.S. which is conducting nuclear war exercises for aggression after introducing huge nuclear war means including strategic assets into the Korean peninsula.

"The DPRK will continue to expand the signal successes of bolstering up the nuclear force in a phased way in this historic year when it started with the solemn blast of the first H-bomb test of Juche Korea," the spokesperson said, referring to the nation's doctrine of self-reliance.

On Monday, the North fired three Rodong medium-range missiles off its east coast. The missiles flew about 1,000 km and landed in waters some 400 km inside Japan's air defense identification zone, according to South Korea's military.

The barrage was the latest in a number of missile launches of all ranges -- short, medium, intermediate and submarine missiles -- the communist nation has been carrying out since its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch the following month.

Such launches represent a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban the North from any activity using ballistic missile technology over concern that it can be used to develop long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
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