GENEVA (Reuters) - The divided Korean peninsula is a "touch-and-go nuclear powder keg" and North Korea
has the power to deter an "ever-increasing nuclear threat" by the United States with a pre-emptive strike if necessary, its foreign minister Ri Su Yong said on Tuesday.
Ri, in a rare speech to the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament, said that joint military exercises being staged bySouth Koreaand the United States were "unprecedentedly provocative in nature and have an especially high possibility of sparking off a war".
"The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) cannot but bolster its nuclear deterrent capability to cope with the ever-increasing nuclear threat of the US Now the DPRK has the power of deterring the US and conducting a pre-emptive strike as well, if necessary," Ri told the Geneva forum.
He said North Korea would spare no effort to bring about "great change in inter-Korean relations this year".