North Korea vowed on Monday to beef up its nuclear deterrent in the face of the latest US plan to modernize nuclear weapons production bases.
"The US feverish development of smaller nukes of new types and modernization of nuclear weapons production bases targeted against North Korea convinces the latter once again that its possession and increase of a nuclear deterrent is an entirely just self-defensive measure," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary.
"North Korea, a target of the US preemptive nuclear attack, cannot but keep the sharpest vigilance against its spurred preparations to put its doctrine of this attack into practice," the KCNA said.
Linton Brooks, head of the US National Nuclear Security Administration, said earlier this month that the United States would need to retain both nuclear forces and capabilities to sustain and modernize its military abilities.
It marked the first time that a top US government official publicly signaled the world's No.1 nuclear power's abandonment of the goal of nuclear disarmament.
"We will revitalize our weapons design community to meet the challenge of being able to adapt an existing weapon within 18 months, and design, develop and begin production of a new design within three to four years of a decision to enter engineering development," Brooks told the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces on March 2.
The KCNA said, "The reality clearly proves that the US is a nuclear fanatic and a rogue state threatening peace and stability of humankind."
"The US modernization plan is, explicitly speaking, an extremely adventurous nuclear war plan to bring a horrible nuclear disaster to humankind. It is self-evident that this would spark off a nuclear arms race in the international arena", said the KCNA.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2006)