S. Korea says N. Korea will never be recognized as nuclear-weapon state

North Korea will never be recognized as a nuclear-weapon state and its pursuit of nuclear weapons will only lead to more sanctions against the regime, South Korea's foreign ministry said Sunday.

The ministry made the comments in response to a statement issued the previous day by North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, which claimed the North's possession of nuclear weapons was a legitimate exercise of sovereignty.

"The international community clearly bans North Korea's nuclear and missile development and provocations," the South Korean ministry said in a statement. "Regardless of North Korea's actions and claims, its possession of nuclear weapons will never be recognized, and the sanctions of the international community will further deepen."

In her statement, Choe criticized a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting convened last week in response to Pyongyang's latest measure to bolster its nuclear force policy in its constitution.

Under the attendance of leader Kim Jong-un last week, the North held a session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) and unanimously decided to "supplement Article 58 of Chapter 4 of the Socialist Constitution" to ensure the country's right to existence and development, deter war and protect regional and global peace by rapidly developing nuclear weapons to a higher level.

Choe said the North strongly condemns the "unlawful and reckless actions of hostile forces, including the U.S., which label our country's legitimate exercise of sovereignty as 'provocation' and 'threat.'"

Source: Yonhap News Agency