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North Korea Says It Has Nuclear Weapons

10 February 2005 --North Korea has for the first time publicly acknowledged that it has nuclear weapons.

A statement from the foreign ministry says North Korea manufactured nuclear weapons for self-defense and accused the United States of seeking to topple its government.

North Korea also said it is suspending its participation in six-party talks on its nuclear program for an "indefinite period."

North Korean state television announced: "We had already taken the resolute action of pulling out of the NPT [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty] and have manufactured nuclear [weapons] for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's ever-growing, undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK [North Korea]."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said North Koreans are "only deepening their isolation." She said the United States has known for years that North Korea had the capability of possessing "a few nuclear weapons."

The United States recently stepped up attempts to revive the nuclear talks with North Korea that also involve South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan.

The British Foreign Office said it "deplores North Korea's refusal to negotiate."