BEIJING — North Korea, calling itself a "proud nuclear power," vowed Saturday to forge ahead with its nuclear program in defiance of the latest United Nations sanctions.
In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, North Korea said it intended to weaponize its stockpile of plutonium and pursue uranium enrichment.
Bluster is the stock in trade of Pyongyang's propaganda machine, but coming on the heels of an apparently successful nuclear test May 25, the threats are chilling. Weapons analysts believe that North Korea, despite its abject poverty and isolation, has made remarkable technical progress putting together a workable nuclear weapon.
"Some people do believe that their claims are credible," said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst with the think tank International Crisis Group.