“We have nuclear weapons.” That is the shock message coming out officially for the first time from North Korea today. Afterwards, Pyongyang announced it is pulling out of the six-party talks designed to reign in its nuclear ambitions. Some of the world’s largest military powers had been trying to coax the isolated communist state to return to disarmament talks.
But the statement from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry and carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said the country’s weapons were to cope with what it called “the Bush administration’s undisguised policy to isolate and stifle North Korea”.
And the reaction to the statement has been swift. Top officials from South Korea, the United States and Japan have once again urged Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme.