North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the United States his "biggest enemy" and threatened to expand his nuclear weaponry, asking Washington to put a stop to its hostile policies towards Pyongyang.
Speaking at a rare party congress in Pyongyang just days before U.S. president-elect Joe Biden is due to take office, Mr Kim said Washington's hostile policy toward North Korea would not change regardless of who occupies the White House.
The North has also completed plans for a nuclear-powered submarine, Kim said, something that would change the strategic balance.
He also called the U.S. the "biggest enemy" of his country.
He said the United States must end its hostile stance as a key to future relations between the countries.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ruling party congress in Pyongyang.
He has called Kim a "thug" and "dictator", denouncing Trump for giving legitimacy to Kim through summits. "The reality is that we need to tirelessly strengthen our national defense capabilities in order to deter military threats from the USA and achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula". They include a multi-warhead missile, underwater-launched nuclear missiles, solid-fueled long-range missiles and spy satellites.
North Korea has often timed major tests, including of ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons, around USA presidential transitions to demonstrate its military capabilities and possibly gain leverage in future negotiations with Washington.
"The reality is that we can achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula when we constantly build up our national defence and suppress United States military threats". It is one of the world's most cloistered countries, and estimates on the status of its nuclear and missile programmes vary widely.
"This gave a clearer description of the status of our state as a nuclear weapons state and enabled it to cement its strong and reliable strategic deterrent for coping with any threat by establishing a ideal nuclear shield", Kim said, according to a text of his speech released by KCNA on Thursday, the third day of the congress.
But more testing would likely be needed to develop tactical nuclear weapons.
KCNA said the congress will continue in session.
Opening the event on Tuesday, Kim admitted the failure to meet the country's previous five-year development goals, describing the past few years as a period of "unprecedented, worst-ever trials".
Since taking power in late 2011, Kim, who turned 37 on Friday, has pushed the so-called "byungjin" policy of simultaneously seeking economic growth and the expansion of his nuclear deterrent.
Nuclear diplomacy between North Korea and the U.S. has largely stalled since the breakdown of a second summit between the Mr Kim and outgoing President Donald Trump in February 2019 in Vietnam.
During this week's speeches, Kim said North Korea will further boost ties with China, its biggest ally and economic lifeline but slammed South Korea for continuing the drills with the USA and introducing modern weapons.
A new weapons test by Pyongyang, especially of a longer-range missile, could have dire repercussions for the incoming US administration's North Korea policy, potentially handcuffing it to a harder-line approach and rallying regional allies like Japan around strengthened sanctions and moves to further isolate the country. He vowed in remarks on Thursday to continue working to improve relations with Pyongyang "until the end".
North Korea will focus its investment in the metal and chemical industries, among others, while strengthening the technological base for the agricultural sector, it said.
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