North Korea said Saturday it will never give up its nuclear weapons as long as the US and its allies continue their "blackmail and war drills" at its doorstep. The North's Korean Central News Agency took the oft-repeated stance as it reviewed its major nuclear weapons and missile tests this year, the AP reports. The North conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date in September and launched three ICBMs into the sea in July and November, indicating it's closer than ever to gaining a nuclear arsenal that could viably target the mainland US. The aggressive tests have led to more international sanctions and pressure on North Korea amid concerns that the window for stopping or rolling back its nuclear program is closing rapidly. The US and South Korea have maintained they won't negotiate with the North unless it's willing to discuss curbing its nuclear weapons and missile program.
In its report, KCNA said the North had taken steps for "bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force" in the face of a continued "nuclear threat and blackmail and war drills" by the US and its "vassal forces." The North often lashes out at the annual military drills between the US and South Korea, which the allies describe as defensive. KCNA accused President Trump of employing unprecedented hostile policies against the North and threatening it with talks of pre-emptive strikes. It described North Korea as an "undeniable new strategic state and nuclear power." "Do not expect any change in its policy. Its entity as an invincible power can neither be undermined nor be stamped out," KCNA said. "The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence," it added, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.