North Korea defended its recent testing of nuclear warheads and ballistic technology at the UN General Assembly on Friday, calling them "righteous self-defensive measures" to preserve the country's sovereignty from outside interference.
Ri Yong Ho, foreign minister of North Korea, also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said his country has been forced to arm itself in response to US military presence in the region.
"The DPRK had no other choice but to go nuclear inevitably after it has done everything possible to defend the national security from the constant nuclear threats from the US which had continued over the century from the 1950s," Ri said.
"Our decision to strengthen nuclear armament is a righteous self-defensive measure to protect ourselves from the constant nuclear threats of the United States."
He said his government was ready to use "powerful nuclear deterrence" in its "struggle" against the US and to safeguard peace on the Korean peninsula - with the final goal of global denuclearization.