North Korea said that the Obama administration's "strategic patience" policy has allowed it to get armed with nuclear weapons, according to the South Korean media.
Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main newspaper, called the United States' efforts to denuclearize the country "an outdated illusion," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency noted. The newspaper said North Korea needed to develop nuclear weapons to protect itself from Washington's "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang.
North Korean experts told Yonhap that North Korea may halt conducting another nuclear test or launching a long-range rocket until it could figure out president-elect Donald Trump's North Korea policy.
"North Korea would seek to have dialogue with Washington as long as the next U.S. administration does not take a hawkish stance toward the North's nuclear issue," said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at the Institute for Far East Studies of Kyungnam University, according to Yonhap.
North Korea state media did not comment on Trump's victory over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but said the new administration would face a "heavier burden" in dealing with the nuclear-armed country, Yonhap said.
North Korea held its fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9, which brought condemnation from the Obama administration, according to The Telegraph.
"To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state," said a White House statement in September after the nuclear test. "… Today's nuclear test, a flagrant violation of multiple U.N. Security Council Resolutions, makes clear North Korea's disregard for international norms and standards for behavior and demonstrates it has no interest in being a responsible member of the international community."
North Korea pushed back, calling the administration's message "foolish" for ignoring North Korea as a nuclear power.
"Its nuclear threat and blackmail constantly imposed on our country...were the engine that pushed us to reach this point," the North Koreas foreign minister said in a statement from the country's official news agency KCNA in September, according to The Telegraph.
"Obama is trying hard to deny the DPRK's (North Korea's) strategic position as a legitimate nuclear weapons state but it is as foolish an act as trying to eclipse the sun with a palm," the statement continued.
Yonhap reported that the fifth anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il, father of the current leader Kim Jong-un, will fall on Dec. 17. Kim Jong-un will mark his fifth anniversary in power on Dec. 30.
"North Korea may conduct a nuclear or missile test around Kim Jong-un's 33rd birthday, which falls on Jan. 8," Cheong Seong-chang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute, told Yonhap.
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