North Korea decried US policy and defended its nuclear arsenal as a “deterrent” to a “hostile US”, Asahi Shimbun reports.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Pak Kil Yon, the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister, warned that a nuclear war could break out in the Korean Peninsula and placed the blame on the US for its policy towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The nuclear-armed state claimed that it needs nuclear weapons in the face of a “hostile” US, which has military bases in South Korea and Japan.

“Today, due to the continued US hostile policy towards DPRK, the vicious cycle of confrontation and aggravation of tensions is an ongoing phenomenon on the Korean Peninsula, which has become the world’s most dangerous hot spot where a spark a fire could set off a thermonuclear war,” Mr. Pak said.

He also exalted young leader Kim Jong Un, saying, “Our dear respected marshal, Kim Jong Un, is firmly determined to make our people, who have overcome manifold hardships, enjoy a happy life to their heart’s content in a prosperous, socialist state.”

The isolated state, already struggling with its economy and a chronic food crisis, was sanctioned by the UN Security Council over internationally-condemned nuclear tests. North Korea forayed into diplomacy in an attempt to boost its economy which largely relied on trade with China.