N. Korea claims nuclear buildup ‘indispensable’ for global stability

North Korea on Friday defended its strengthening of nuclear arms as an "indispensable contribution" to maintaining global stability while blaming the United States for pushing the world closer to "nuclear war." The accusation came in response to a report by the British daily Telegraph that the U.S. is planning to place B61-12 nuclear bombs at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in what would mark the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Britain for the first time in 15 years. "The international community is expressing serious concern that the U.S. moves for bolstering up nuclear force in the European region will further chill the relations between the West and Russia and increase the danger of a nuclear war in the region," Ri Ji-song, a researcher of the North's Society for International Politics Study, said in an article carried by the Korean Central News Agency. Saying the move also threatens global security, the researcher said it goes on to show that Washington is the "chief criminal of nuclear proliferation, mastermind of nuclear arms race and chieftain of nuclear war outbreak." Claiming that such nuclear weapons could be deployed to the Asia-Pacific region for operation on the Korean Peninsula, the North said, "(Its) efforts for bolstering up the nuclear war deterrence are an indispensable contribution to resolutely frustrating the U.S. and its allies' undisguised provocations on a worldwide scale and maintaining the strategic balance and stability of the world." North Korea has been dialing up tensions on the Korean Peninsula in the new year -- an election year for South Korea and the United States -- with weapons tests and harshly worded rhetoric. The North recently conducted three cruise missile launches in a week, including a new submarine-launched strategic cruise missile (SLBM), named the "Pulhwasal-3-31." Source: Yonhap News Agency