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H-Bomb Test Aimed at Self-Defense, Not Provocation: North Korea
   2016-01-16 18:52:17    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guan Chao

North Koreans gather in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Jan. 8, 2016, to celebrate what the country claims was a "successful hydrogen bomb" test. [Photo: Imagine China]

North Korea on Saturday reiterated that its recent hydrogen bomb test was a measure taken for self-defense.

It also says that the United States should recognize it as a nuclear weapons state.

The North Korean foreign ministry issued a statement, emphasizing the country's nuclear test earlier this month was not aimed at escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The statement also said the country's primary tasks this year are economic development and improving people's livelihood, both of which require a peaceful political climate.

Also on Friday, North Korea's state-run media KRT cited the foreign ministry in saying that the country is willing to cease nuclear tests in exchange for an end to joint US-South Korea military exercises.

"Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for the U.S. halting the joint military exercises."

On Saturday in Tokyo, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts. They are expected to hold talks regarding North Korea's recent announcement of the nuclear test.

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