Pyongyang sharpens tone in dispute with US

Wed, May 23, 2012, 01:00

SEOUL – North Korea intensified its war of words against the United States yesterday, vowing to strengthen its nuclear deterrent after Washington warned Pyongyang of further sanctions if it did not abandon its atomic programme.

Last week, world leaders meeting in the United States said North Korea needed to adhere to international norms and that it would face deeper isolation if it continued “down the path of provocation”.

The North’s foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday that it would “bolster its nuclear deterrent as long as the United States was continuing with its hostile policies” and that it planned “countermeasures” following pressure from Washington.

Under new leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket in April, breaking an agreement with the United States that would have seen food exchanged for access to North Korean nuclear facilities. – (Reuters)