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N. Korea calls on U.S. to change 'hostile' policy

All News 21:52 January 14, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Saturday urged the United States to change its hostile policy toward Pyongyang, defending its development of long-range missiles as a measure to strengthen its self-defense.

The Minju Joson, Pyongyang's Cabinet newspaper, claimed that building intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) is "the exercise of the legitimate and independent right" of the country and that it doesn't run counter to international law.

"The DPRK will continue to bolster up its military capability for self-defense and preemptive strike with the nuclear force as its pivot, as long as the U.S. and its vassal forces' nuclear threat and blackmail persist," the paper said in an English-language report carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The DPRK is short for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's formal name.

Apparently directing its message at the incoming Trump administration, the paper added, "Now is the time for the U.S. to respond to the DPRK with a fresh way of thinking. The U.S. should make a bold decision of rolling back its anachronistic hostile policy toward the DPRK if it does not want to see the escalating tension."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's Day address that the country has entered the final stage of preparations to test-fire an ICBM.

The KCNA issued its own commentary, saying the U.S. and other world powers must have a "proper understanding" of the North and Pyongyang's position as a nuclear power.

"Now is the time for the DPRK to steer the solution of the issue of peace and stability in Northeast Asia as it has undergone a fundamental change in its strategic position," the English-language report read. "The DPRK will as ever safeguard its peace and security by its own strength and make a positive contribution to defending the world peace and stability."

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