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N.K. envoy says strengthening of defense capabilities aimed at opening peace era

North Korea 21:26 January 29, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's top diplomat to Geneva has argued that Pyongyang's push toward strengthening its military capabilities was aimed at opening an era of peace, according to the North's foreign ministry Friday.

According to Pyongyang's foreign ministry, Han Tae-song, North Korea's ambassador to Geneva, said via videoconference at the meeting of the United Nations Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Tuesday that the reason his country was building up its war deterrent capabilities was to defend itself and open a "genuine era of peace with eternally no wars."

"We need to strengthen national defense power without a halt to deter military threats and to achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula," Han said.

Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party and called for enhancing the country's "nuclear war deterrent" and building "the most powerful military strength."

Kim held three meetings with former U.S. President Donald Trump, but denuclearization talks have made little progress since their no-deal summit in Hanoi in February 2019.

A new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is displayed during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Jan. 14, 2021, to celebrate the recently concluded eighth congress of the North's ruling Workers' Party, in this photo captured from the website of the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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