March 31, 2013 8:42 am

North Korea calls nukes ‘nation’s life’ that aren’t on bargaining table

SEOUL, South Korea – One of North Korea’s top decision-making bodies is setting guidelines that call nuclear weapons “the nation’s life” that won’t be traded even for “billions of dollars.”

The statement Sunday came after a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party attended by leader Kim Jong Un and other officials.

It says nuclear weapons aren’t “goods for getting U.S. dollars” or a “political bargaining chip.” Outside analysts have said Pyongyang raises worries over its nuclear ambitions to spur nuclear-disarmament-for-aid talks.

The statement says Pyongyang will also increase work to build up the economy. Kim has made fixing the moribund economy a focus.

Pyongyang has issued a torrent of bellicose threats in recent weeks over U.S.-South Korean military drills and U.N. sanctions that followed its recent nuclear test.

© The Associated Press, 2013

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