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North Korea to Increase Nuclear Deterrent

A top North Korean official says Pyongyang will increase its nuclear deterrent to defend against alleged hostile U.S. policies.

News reports quote Kim Yong-nam, head of the North's legislature, as saying Pyongyang will increase its nuclear deterrent to counter any threat to isolate and stifle the republic. He said North Korea would destroy any aggressor if war breaks out on the Korean peninsula.

Mr. Kim, who ranks second behind top leader Kim Jong-il, is the highest ranking North Korean official to state Pyongyang's intention to boost its nuclear arsenal.

His comments come amid a standoff over the North's nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang claimed in February to possess atomic weapons and said it would indefinitely boycott international disarmament talks.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.