Seoul, Feb 19: Undeterred by the United States criticism of its use of nuclear weapons, North Korea on Friday, Feb 19 said that it would not abandon its nuclear weapons in return for economic aid.
Stating that N Korea has not developed the atomic bombs to 'threaten anybody or receive economic favors or rewards', the official Korean Central News Agency said that it was developed for its own defence.
The agency said that it would be a gross mistake for the world to think that N Korea would give up its nuclear weapons in return for economic benefits.
Hitting out at US for its criticism, the communist state asked US to abandon its 'hostile policy' first.
"Unless (the US) terminates its hostile policy and nuclear threats towards our republic, our abandonment of nuclear weapons will not happen even if the earth breaks."
The declaration came after intense diplomatic efforts to bring back N Korea to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, including reports of China offering economic assistance to the communist state.
Aimed at bringing back N Korea to the forum, Chinese and North Korean negotiators held several days of talks in Beijing last week.
A news agency report said that possible economic assistance from Beijing was put forward during the talks.
However, media reports said that Pyongyang stood firm in its two conditions to return back to negotiation, which include lifting of sanctions and US commitment to discuss a formal peace treaty.
Meanwhile, some analysts claim that judging by the deteriorating economy and acute food shortages, N Korea would soon be forced to come back to the negotiating table.
China is reportedly planning on striking a deal under which Pyongyang could obtain more than 10 billion dollars in investment from Chinese banks and multinational firms.
Some South Korean officials are skeptical about the success of the deal, citing N Korea limited economic capacity.