North Korea is accusing the United States of using the North’s nuclear program as an excuse to mask its own opposition to banning nuclear weapons.

Ri Song Chol, a counsellor at North Korea’s U.N. mission, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the United States drove his country to make and possess nuclear weapons to defend itself against American aggression.

Ri said he was responding

to U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley who said Monday that the United States wouldn’t participate in U.N. talks aimed at banning nuclear weapons because “bad actors” including North Korea wouldn’t sign or comply with a potential treaty.

Ri said North Korea supports the global effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, but won’t give up its weapons “until the denuclearization of the world is implemented.”

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